Category: Men’s 1st XV News


Disappointing single point outcome in South Ayrshire

Carrick 29 points | Hillhead Jordanhill 22 points

IT IS A TRUSIM that a game of rugby lasts for eighty minutes and that what takes place in the first quarter is not necessarily a perfect indicator of the eventual outcome. Thus it was at Maybole on Saturday where Hills gave the impression they would sweep Carrick aside thanks to their opening burst. Their first phase, both line out and scrum, were secure, and they moved the ball with purpose, scoring a fine try from Rory Harte who ran some seventy metres to score, profiting from a well executed miss move in the centre, initiated by stand-off Euan Brown. The no. 10 converted and then added a penalty to place the Hills ten points ahead after the opening exchanges. Thereafter Carrick came more into the game, proving more powerful at the breakdown, despite some solid defence from all the visiting players. After forty minutes, the home side had edged marginally in front by eighteen points to seventeen. Rory Harte had scored from close range and his try had been converted, but it was still game-on with Carrick having to play into the low sun for the second half.

Injures to loose-head prop Ross Jackson and second row Charlie Smillie shortly after the break necessitated a much earlier introduction of bench replacements than intended; this resulted in disruptions, particularly to the front row. An increasing fragility seeped into the Hills’ second half performance and their first half sparkle faded badly. Certainly a yellow card did not help, but the game fell away into a struggle for territory and good go-forward ball. Hills came out second best on both counts and the score mounted inexorably in favour of Carrick. With one minute left Hills were looking at taking nothing from the game, until some belated continuity play released Chris Warnock on the burst in the home twenty two. His thunderous charge fell just short, but some determined recycling allowed Rory Harte sufficient space to cross the line unopposed for his third try of the afternoon. The fact his conversion fell short was of limited importance, as the losing bonus point had been secured. The final whistle sounded and the Hills players were left to reflect on how a game which had started full of promise ended so disappointingly.

Next up, Hills Men’s 1st XV play HADDINGTON on Saturday 8th December at Hughenden with a 14.30 KO. This game will be played under the main pitch floodlights.

Carrick RFC

Position YC RC T C P DG


# Player Position YC RC T C P DG
15Craig ColvinFull Back  0000
14Albain de Chaille 19Wing  0000
13Rory HarteCentre  3210
12James Hamilton-PotterCentre  0000
11Ciaran CallaghanWing  0000
10Euan Brown 18Fly-half  0000
9Alex GibbonsScrum-half  0000
1Ross Jackson 16Loosehead prop  0000
2Harry PerstonHooker  0000
3Daryll ElvinTighthead prop  0000
4Chris WarnockLock  0000
5Charlie Smillie 17Lock  0000
6Preston McGoldrickFlanker  0000
7David VallanceFlanker  0000
8Conor FergusonNo. 8  0000
16Harry Singh 1Hooker  0000
17Alec Cameron 5Lock  0000
18Hugo Gesta 10Fly-half  0000
19Damien Genocchio 14Wing  0000
 Total   3210

Hills Take Five Points from Reduced St. Boswell

Hillhead Jordanhill 52 points St Boswells 24 points

On a fine late autumnal day for running rugby, Hills did sufficient in a blistering first half of running rugby to take the game away from a numerically understrength St. Boswells side.

The visitors started with one short and were then reduced to thirteen after twenty minutes, when one of their second rowers had to leave the field injured. After some forty two minutes, the referee adjudged that Jimmy Griffith, the home right winger, had committed an offence meriting his dismissal, and then after sixty five minutes the visitors lost another player to injury, finishing the game with only twelve on the park. The considerable dislocations in play did nothing for Hills concentration levels in the second half.

Brightest for the Hills in the first half were the irrepressible Rory Harte, playing in the outside centre channel and showing the benefits of a change of pace to score two fine tries, while Jimmy Griffith, when given space on the right wing, blasted over for three tries. Improving second rower, Charlie Smillie, scored from close range with Euan Brown adding a penalty and two conversions. Hills were certainly well worthy of their half time lead of thirty seven points to seven with flanker David Vallance and inside centre, Jonny Hamilton-Potter, both running powerfully when the opportunities arose.

The second period was noteworthy for a display of typical Border grit from the visitors who rallied against the odds to score three fine tries and secure a valuable try bonus point. Hills rather closed down for parts of the second half, but came back to life with some good break out play from their replacement back subs, Alban de Chaillé (2 tries) and Hugo Gesta (one try), who both ran purposefully from midfield to score against a fractured defence.

Hills play next away to Maybole against Carrick on Saturday the 1st December with a 14.00 KO. There is NO game this coming Saturday, the 24th November, as it is the second round of the cup from which Hills were eliminated in the first round.

Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin (C) , Jimmy Griffith, Rory Harte, Jonathon Hamilton-Potter (Hugo Gesta) , Ciaran Callaghan (Alban de Chaille), Euan Brown , Alex Gibbons , Ross Jackson, Harry Perston, Daryll “Kitschoff” Elvin (Blair Mackenzie), Chris Warnock , Charlie Smillie, Bill Kenny, Scott McMillan (Preston McGoldrick) and David Vallance Subs All use

Report & Picture: BBM

Injuries Mar Hills Home Win

Hillhead Jordanhill 9 points Murrayfield Wanderers 3 points (game abandoned after 74 minutes, Hillhead/Jordanhill win)

This was a gutsy performance from the Hills in a floodlit game, played in atrocious conditions of heavy wind driven rain. Visitors Murrayfield Wanderers had all the momentum in the first quarter playing up the slope towards the clubhouse, but all they had to show for their ascendancy was a short range penalty which cannoned off one of the uprights and was cleared swiftly. From that point, Hills came more into the game, helped by a much improved performance on the touchline from line out jumpers, Charlie Smillie and Chris Warnock. They should have scored a try following a thunderous break from his own twenty two by Jonny Hamilton-Potter, but the opportunity was lost close to the visitors’ try line. Rory Harte, however, allowed his side to have a six point lead at the interval, thanks to two well struck penalty goals.

The pattern of play continued in the second period with Hills having the bulk of territory and possession, but just being unable, on such a foul night, to play sufficient quality wet weather rugby to get across the line. Replacement prop, Ross Jackson, ran well for some fifty metres, but his breakout did not produce a clear try scoring opportunity. The scoring in the second half was restricted to an exchange of penalty goals between the respective kickers, Rory Harte and Alex Godsmark.

The game did, however, produce two long stoppages of play in separate incidents for medical attention to two front row players. Fortunately the Murrayfield Wanderer was eventually able to walk from the field, albeit slowly, to the comfort of the stand. Ross Fergusson, the Hills tight head prop, was less fortunate and had to be stretchered off and taken by ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Everyone, players and supporters, were mightily relieved to learn that the problem was related to serious soft tissue damage and Ross was able to leave hospital on Saturday morning.

Hills play next at home on Saturday the 17th November with a 13.45 KO against St.Boswells from the Borders.

Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin (Euan Brown), Jimmy Griffith (Craig Colvin), Damien Genocchio, James Hamilton-Potter, Ciaran Callaghan, Rory Harte, Alex Gibbons, Ross Fergusson, Harry Perston, Daryll Elvin (Ross Jackson), Chris Warnock, Charlie Smillie, Bill Kenny, Scott McMillan and David Vallance. Subs Toby Mitchell

Report and Picture: BBM
Hills Kicks video (below) courtesy of M.Malone, embedded in the supporters crowd


No Points at Pickie Park

Orkney 31 points Hillhead Jordanhill 22 points

The turbulence experienced by the Hills party of twenty four, nineteen players and five team management, as they took to the leaden skies above Glasgow in their Loganair scheduled service to Kirkwall on Saturday morning was nothing compared to the battering the forward pack took some three hours later on terra firma at Pickaquoy Park.

Given the prevailing zephyrs, Hills had won the important toss and had chosen to play with the wind at their backs. But the first five minutes were a chastening experience for the Hills, as their pack was rammed backwards in the first three scrums , thereby destroying any momentum they had hoped to gain. The home XV quickly held the upper hand, and made the visitors pay with a well worked move which led to a try close to the posts which was easily converted . Instead of playing the game in the Orkney half, Hills were constantly on the back foot engaged in desperate defence in which captain, Dan Williams, excelled. It was only towards the last ten minutes of the first half that the Hills were able to put any pressure on Orkney. First of all, Euan Brown kicked a thunderous penalty from all of fifty metres. Then Ciaran Callaghan finished very well in the left hand corner on the first occasion Hills managed to recycle quickly with the final pass being exquisitely floated over the centres’ heads by stand off Rory Harte. Hills were ahead eight points to seven at the end of the first half, but the margin was wafer thin considering Orkney now had the best of the conditions.

Sure enough the second half featured waves of attacks from Orkney with Hills striving hard at all times to get out their half. Orkney scored four tries, but charitably they recognised two of these were “own goals” gifted through uncharacteristic errors in the Hills rear-guard. The visitors two second half tries were due to the fine footballing skills of Damien Genocchio and Rory Harte, the former picking up loose ball in midfield and making the line on his own, brushing off several would be tacklers on his way. The try was one only Rory Harte could score. A meandering run out of his own twenty two from a quickly taken tap penalty produced numerous side steps and feints to the effect not one home player could put a hand on him on his way to the line. But there really was little else to cheer the Hills in the second half. The technical area resembled a small scale A. and E. ward. Second rower, John McLellan, was stretched out with a badly sprained ankle ; Scott McMIllan had a badly bruised knee ; Ryan Williamson was coming round slowly after a head knock ; and Ross Fergusson was cooling his heels in the sin bin. Such was the dislocation that scrums became uncontested and Dan Williams was asked to play in three different positions : inside centre, scrum half and then No 8. The Club Physio, Aoife O’Shea, did remarkably well to manage all the injured players.

Hills next league game is at home Friday night, the 9th November, when Murrayfield Wanderers are the visitors for a floodlight game, kick-off 19.45.

Hills 1st XV – Euan Brown, Craig Colvin (Jamie Maddox) , Damien Genocchio , Dan Williams (C) (James Hamilton-Potter) , Ciaran Callaghan , Rory Harte , Andy Blair (Dan Williams) , Ryan Williamson (Ross Fergusson) , Harry Perston, Daryll Elvin , John McLellan (Bill Kenny) , Charlie Smillie, Euan Ramage (Preston McGoldrick) Bill Kenny (Dan Williams) Scott McMillan . Subs all used

Report & Picture: BBM

Tough Times on the North 500

Caithness 57 points Hillhead Jordanhill 14 points

The first leg of the North 500, the latest “must do” on Trip Advisor, saw the Hills bus the 110 miles from Inverness to Thurso where Caithness play on a fine late Autumn morning, having stayed overnight in the capital of the Highlands. The drive itself is wonderful, spanning the Beauly Firth, Cromarty Firth and then the Beauly Firth. Thereafter, the A9 road hugs the coast, passing the holiday villages of Golpsie, Brora and Helmsdale before ascending to the flow country of Caithness where the vistas are magnificent across to the Sutherland Munros. Thurso was reached after some 2 hours 15 minutes of a drive which reinforced perceptions of what a wonderful country Scotland is. The visit to the North will be taken only once this season by Hillhead Jordanhill, but Caithness, their hosts, are well used to the journey, travelling to the Central Belt some eleven times to fulfil their national League commitments.

The fact this report should open with an overview of part of the trip to Thurso where Caithness RFC play indicates that it will stay longer in the memory than the game which followed. On their well appointed ground with a team of well nourished backs and forwards, Caithness were ruthless in their execution of the basics, particularly in the contact areas, where Hills struggled all afternoon with their hosts physicality. The first half saw Caithness run through the phases with ease scoring four tries against Hills, but the visitors playing against a stiff breeze did have their chances. Euan Brown intercepted some ten metres from his own line and scampered ina lung bursting run some seventy metres unopposed, till he was chopped only five metres short of the Caithness line. The hosts offended at the breakdown, losing a player to the sin bin in the process, but Hills could make nothing of their numerical advantage. Second rower, Chris Warnock, rightly named Hills man of the match made some serious yards in midfield, but the recycling could make nothing of the “Green fence” in front of them. Ciaran Callaghan threatened briefly on the left flank, but a knock on close to the line ended that promise.

Turning round twenty six points adrift, it was essential Hills settled quickly, but the momentum that Caithness generated in the first forty minutes was difficult to defuse, and the visitors subsided further to two more tries. Finally after fifty five minutes Hills started playing in the Caithness twenty two and two tries followed. Tight head prop Blair Mackenzie was driven over from close range and then Bill Kenny, whose work ethic is always to be commended, scored. The second try came from a rarity in the modern game, a tight head strike by hooker Harry Perston. Euan Brown converted both and there was a faint hope this spurt would lift the Hills, but instead Caithness found their “second wind” to run in another three tries, punishing the visitors for their failures to hold onto the ball. The final victory margin of nine tries to only two served only to emphasise the disparity between the two teams.

The bus journey home of some 280 miles, punctuated by a pit stop in Pitlochry, allowed time and opportunity to anaesthetise the senses, and blank out the memory of the game. Hills now have to lift themselves several notches to be able to offer resistance to opponents Ardrossan Accies in the ninth game of the 2018/2019 NL 3 season on Saturday the 27th October; kick off at Hughenden is 15.00.

Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin, Graham Davidson (Alban de Chaillé), Damien Genocchio, Dan Williams (C), Ciaran Callaghan (Jamie Maddox), Euan Brown, Andy Blair, Ryan Williamson, Harry Perston, Blair Mackenzie (Daryll Elvin), Bill Kenny, Chris Warnock, James Acheson, Conor Ferguson, Preston McGoldrick (Scott McMillan). Subs All used

Nervous Win at Hughenden

Hillhead Jordanhill 20 points Perthshire 13 points

It was a relieved group of players, coaches and supporters when the excellent exchange referee, Callum Paterson, blew for time up at Hughenden with Hills winning a close game against Perthshire by one goal, two tries and a penalty goal to two tries and one penalty goal. Thus Hills autumn of rugby discontent with three successive pointless defeats was brought to a welcome conclusion.

The first quarter was all Hills, but with little finishing patience in the visitor’s danger areas until left winger, Ciaran Callaghan, broke up the middle of the field and offloaded well to James Acheson. The second rower made a fine break into the Perthshire twenty two from where quick recycling and well directed passing put right winger, Graham Davidson, clear to run round behind the posts to score. Stand off, Euan Brown, added the conversion, but Perthshire were quick to respond with a penalty goal. The momentum, however, remained with the Hills, and James Acheson was again prominent in broken play when his break deep into the Perthshire twenty two produced a follow up try for hooker Harry Perston. A twelve three margin after forty minutes in favour of the Hills was a fair reflection of the flow of the game.

But the half time margin was soon reduced when a speculative kick ahead from Perthshire caught the Hills defence asleep and allowed the follow up to slide in for an opportunistic try The visitors were now back in the game, but some disciplined defence from Hills raised the siege. It took a sublime piece of skill from Rory Harte to add to the score. From a midfield position, the fullback noted the visitors were thin at the back and Euan Brown was unmarked on the right wing. A delicately weighted chip over the flat defence and kind bounce allowed Euan Brown to pick up and run in unopposed from thirty metres. The conversion was missed but Rory Harte made no mistake with a penalty kick for goal which took his side to twenty to eight points ahead with some ten minutes left.

Hills then spent the remainder of the game in defence. A try was conceded taking Perthshire into losing bonus point territory, but the Hills held out to win a penalty which Rory Harte kicked gleefully into touch to finish the game. Hills  will be hoping this change of fortune can be continued for their long away trip to play Caithness in Thurso on Saturday the 20th with a 14.00 KO.

Hills 1st XV – Rory Harte (Alban Chaille), Graham Davidson, Damien Genocchio , Rory Harte, Ciaran Callaghan, Euan Brown (Rory Harte), Dan Williams (C), Ryan Williamson , Harry Perston, Ross Fergusson (Blair Mackenzie), Bill Kenny (John McLellan), James Acheson, David Vallance, Conor Ferguson, Preston McGoldrick (Euan Ramage)

Report & Picture: BBM

Hills Go Down at Burnbrae

West of Scotland 50 points Hillhead Jordanhill 14 points

On a wonderful afternoon for running rugby at Burnbrae, West took full advantage of a well below par showing from the visitors to record a comprehensive victory and move to the top of the NL3 table some 25% of the way through the playing season. Hills, for their part, now sink to a lowly ninth place and will require to begin picking up points very soon to ensure a dog fight against relegation does not over take them. The momentum which had been generated in their last home game against Gordonians was sadly absent.

Matters were ominous from the first set scrummage when the Hills with a make shift front row were rammed back yards, but the Hills forwards stuck at it, and competed both at the set piece and line outs; but the West pack had a more cohesive look about them the whole of the eighty minutes. Mistakes – missed tackles and failing to deal with an opportunist kick ahead – also cost Hills dearly. Yet fine breaks into the West twenty two by improving second rower, Charlie Smillie, and James “The Come back Kid” Reekie should both have led to scores, but the opportunities were sadly lost.

At nineteen points down after forty minutes, Hills needed to strike early, but, after only two minutes of the second half, West had their fourth and bonus point try from an interception. Further indignity befell the visitors when they conceded a penalty try at the scrummage and then a sixth try when West moved the ball wide against a splintered defence. Thirty eight points down after fifty five minutes was not quite the scoreline which the Hills might have expected, but there was a brief flurry of resistance which brought two fine tries for the visitors. First of all, Damien Genocchio scorched in from thirty metres out to score an encouraging individual try, and then Jamie Franklin showed some wonderful footwork to offload to substitute back, Jonny Hamilton-Potter, who still had some work to do to shake off two defenders to make it to the line. Euan Brown converted both and suddenly there were signs of a revival. These were quickly extinguished, however, by an efficient West side which showed more patience in retaining possession and variety in attack than their visitors. Two further tries were conceded by the visitors and the Hills were well and truly walloped in this North Glasgow derby.

Hills now entertain Perthshire on the 13th October at Hughenden with a 15.00 KO. It is to be hoped Hills pick up soon as they have now lost three games on the trot.

Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin, Jamie Franklin, Damien Genocchio (Jonny Hamilton-Potter), Rory Harte, Jimmy Griffith (Damien Genocchio), Euan Brown, Dan Williams (C), Harry Perston (Michael Sinclair), Preston McGoldrick (Harry Perston), Ross Fergusson, Charlie Smillie, Chris Warnock, James Reekie, Conor Ferguson, Bill Kenny (Euan Ramage)

Report & Picture: BBM

Second Half Torment for the Hills

Hillhead Jordanhill 0 points; Newton Stewart 27 points

By any measure of performance, this was, at times, a very disappointing display from the Hills. After 40 minutes, the sides were locked at 0-0, but in the second period of play visitors Newton Stewart found the extra gears that the Hills did not possess to take the game assuredly away from the home side to win convincingly by two goals, two tries and one penalty goal to no score. Yet Hills had their chances to put points on the board in the first half, but failed. A kick at goal in front of the posts was refused in favour of a scrum but the ball was fumbled out wide; a two to one chance in the Newton danger area was wasted; and poor handling and ball retention skills contributed to further Hills disappointments. Even the sin binning of the visitor’s stand off proved no catalyst to the Hills in their ability to score.

Newton Stewart made good use of the Hughenden slope to drive play towards the Hills goal line and their four tries came regularly throughout the second period of play. It was noticeable that Newton showed more patience with the ball in hand, going through the phases while their opponents seemed to treat the ball like a “hot potato” with poor off-loading and knocks on. Scrum half Andy Blair had a few good sniping runs, but these fizzled out due to lack of support. Rory Harte threatened on occasion to break the line, but even he struggled to make much impact on a very well organised visiting defence. There were some bright spots, however, with the Hills line out functioning well throughout the game and the scrummage occasionally showing determination in driving their opposition pack off the ball. But these were crumbs of comfort on a rich man’s table; and the collective effort from the Hills fell well short.

Next up for Hills at Hughenden on Saturday the 29th, KO 15.00, are Gordonians who have made a fine start to their season with four consecutive wins. Hills will require to wipe this display quickly from the memory banks, and focus on playing a more disciplined game to return to winning ways.

Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin, Damien Genocchio (Jamie Franklin), Rory Harte, Callum Weir (Damien Genocchio), Ciaran Callaghan, Euan Brown, Andy Blair, Ross Jackson (Nathan McCann), Harry Perston, Ryan Williamson, James Acheson, James Mclellan, David Vallance (Harry Singh), Conor Ferguson (Chris Crome) and Dan Williams (C)

Report: BBM
Feature Picture: Hamish Adamson

Hills Win on the Road

Haddington 19 points Hillhead Jordanhill 20 points

The last five minutes of this game were unnecessarily tight for the Hills players and supporters at the well appointed grounds and Clubhouse of the Haddington Club in East Lothian. Certainly Haddington had made life very uncomfortable for the Hills in the opening quarter when they attacked incessantly and were deservedly seven points ahead at the end of the first quarter. But then the visitors found their bearings and controlled the game for the next fifty minutes. Euan Brown opened the scoring with a well struck penalty from the right hand touchline into the breeze, and then quick passing, featuring Rory Harte, Dan Williams and Graham Davidson, allowed full back Craig “Stick Man” Colvin to weave his way through for a fine try. There were other notable contributions from the speedy Hills three quarters in the first half, principally from two glorious breaks from well within his own half from inside centre Callum Weir, both of which suffered from immediate lack of support in the home danger area. In the first period, the Hills forward pack performed well in the set scrummage against a much heavier Haddington opposition, but touchline frailties remained.

For most of the second half Hills continued to do all the running and pressing with both backs and forwards showing fine handling skills. Graham Davidson finished well in the right hand corner, after good leading up work from Euan Brown, Charlie Smillie and Rory Harte. Hills third and final try was one for the rugby purists. Sub winger Damien Gennochio fielded a wayward penalty from Haddington, and then moved the ball quickly infield from where it went smartly through five pairs of hands to allow Craig Colvin to motor through the disintegrating defence from fifteen metres to score in the corner. Euan Brown nailed the conversion well from the touchline, which in the final context of the game was to prove the difference between a narrow win or a narrow defeat. “Hills” then became very profligate in attack failing to finish on at least three occasions when it looked easier to score than not. But credit to Haddington who made a very spirited revival against the visitors who began to suffer from injuries which necessitated many positional changes. While victory was well deserved, the margin was very slender and may help focus the minds of the “Hills” squad, as they prepare for three very tough games over the next three weekends.

On the 22nd and 29th of September respectively, Hills have home games against joint NL 3 leaders, Newton Stewart and then Gordonians while on the 6th October they play West of Scotland at Burnbrae. Three cracking fixtures and it is hoped that as many supporters as possible will provide their backing. Mon’ the Hills!

Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin, Graham Davidson (Damien Gennochio) , Rory Harte , Callum Weir (Roger Webster), Ciaran Callaghan, Euan Brown, Dan Williams , Ross Jackson (Ryan Williamson), Harry Perston, Ross Fergusson (Paul Howell) Ryan Williamson (Scott McMillan) Charlie Smillie (James Acheson), James Acheson (Calum Weir), Conor Ferguson and Scott McMillan (Harry Singh)

Text & Picture: BBM

Thrilling Victory Against Carrick

Hillhead Jordanhill 35 points Carrick 22 points

With five minutes left in this engrossing struggle and the scoreboard showing Hills just ahead at 28 points to 22 , visitors Carrick had their hosts on the ropes, such was the relentless nature of their attacks. It looked odds on that their flying right winger would score a try in the corner, but Hills stand out captain, “desperate” Dan Williams produced a wonderful cover try saving tackle to force the attacker into touch. Somehow Hills then scrambled the ball clear from the danger area and worked the play downfield. There followed a wonderful passage of play between backs, Scott Halliday and Craig Colvin, and second rower, Charlie Smillie, to create quick ball for Ciaran Callaghan in the wide left wing channel to race for the line. A couple of phases later, open side wing forward, Preston McGoldrick, “The Mighty Atom”, plunged over the line for a try and Rory Harte converted to turn possible defeat for the Hills into certain victory. When the admirable Gavin Hutton, the match referee, blew for off side, Carrick, who had contributed so much by way of resilience to the pulsating contest, tripped off with only a single point try bonus for all their efforts, while the Hills stashed five from the outcome.

Such a denouement, however, seemed most unlikely after the first forty minutes of this game which Hills bossed to the extent that they were twenty three points to five up at the interval, although there were signs of occasional touch line frailty and indifferent scrummaging. Stand off Euan Brown directed the attacking traffic up the Hughenden slope with considerable skill. He should have scored off his first break of the match but slipped going for the line. He made no mistake with his second tilt at the line to touch down, and then converted Rory Harte’s score in the left hand corner from the touchline. Carrick were able to bring a temporary halt to the flow with a score from their dynamic forward, Blair Jardine, but Brown was soon back on the score sheet with two well struck penalty goals. Just before the end of the half a movement involving Dan Williams and Rory Harte, whose ball distribution skills and tenacity were first class throughout the game, created just enough space for Ciaran Callaghan to touch down.

Although Ciaran Callaghan was quick to add another try, the rest of the third quarter and most of the final twenty minutes belonged to the visitors. Apart from the efforts of the comeback kid, Alec Cameron, in all the unglamorous rugby chores of tackling and foraging for the ball on the ground, “ Hills” seemed to suffer from some bout of collective amnesia as to ball winning and use. Certainly Carrick upped their game, won all the “fifty/ fifty” balls and all the arm wrestles to take the contest towards its final flourish. Hills for their part had to shuffle their pack due to routine knocks and rearrange their back line to accommodate Euan Brown’s departure with a leg knock. But all came well in the end due to their resilience and what seemed slightly superior fitness. A great game for all players and both sets of enthusiastic supporters.

Next Saturday, the Hills take to the road to visit East Lothian to renew acquaintances with Haddington RFC. There is a 15.00 KO. The team bus will leave from just outside the Western Tennis Club at 12.00 sharp with space for members and friends.

Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin, Sam Stokes (Jamie Franklin), Rory Harte (Dan Williams), Scott Halliday, Ciaran Callaghan, Euan Brown (Rory Harte), Dan Williams (Andy Blair), Ross Jackson, Harry Singh (Harry Perston), Ryan Williamson (Ross Fergusson), John McLellan (Ryan Williamson), Alec Cameron, Preston McGoldrickand James Acheson

Text & Picture BBM