This Week’s Identity Parade at Hills

Pictured are this week’s award winners along with Head Coach, Robbie Stewart, and his assistant, Franklin Clark are Harry Cordner (2nd left) and Harry Perston.  Each has been favoured with a voucher for Café Source Too on the HQ’s ground floor.

Robbie Stewart advised: “despite our disappointing  loss last week against GHK, both “Harrys” performed well.  Harry C was consistently  good at the breakdown and also in his No. 8 duties, while Harry P performed excellently in the set scrum”.

Franklin Clark, no mean hooker in his day, was full of praise for Harry P: “Scrum time was wonderful for me.  Seeing Harry strike against the head brought back so many memories.  That part provided a warm glow “.

Cruel Finish to Hills Improved Performance in Derby Game

Hillhead/Jordanhill 10 pts GHK 24 pts

In the first round of matches against GHK, “Hills“ were trounced by sixty four points to twenty one at Old Anniesland, but in the return leg of the West End Derby, the home team were deservedly ahead at half time and fell away only in the last five minutes of what had been a much improved show up till then.

There was then much to applaud in this fine “Hills” performance : left winger Jimmy Griffith’s finishing skills which brought two fine first half tries – it should have been three but for an erroneous  knock on award  – full back Rory Harte’s immaculate fielding of the high ball in blustery conditions; hooker Harry Perston’s four strikes against the head in a very solid scrummaging pack; Blair Mackenzie’s scrummaging both at tight head and then in the second row; Owen Gemmell’s abrasive captaincy and display in the loose;  and the whole teams spirted showing throughout and also their field discipline given some uneven refereeing decisions.

Yet the final analysis saw “Hills” fall just short.  Their half time lead of ten points to five – the first occasion in season 2016-2017 they have been ahead after the first period of play – had been only marginally eroded by an early GHK score in the second period.   The play,  which had few periods of continuity due to frequent blasts of the whistle, raged from end to end and “Hills“ were marginally the favourites on pressure in the final quarter.  But the quicksilver GHK backs and their mercurial 10, Mike Martin,   saw to it that the “win bonuses” would be theirs with a two try burst in the closing five minutes which utterly deflated the “Hills” players and their band of supporters who had been hoping this game would provide their first win. “If only”, one of the most important  phrases  in the English language, might be used about the touchline work of the “Hills”  line-out  which was not dependable, some of the midfield handling might have been crisper and the “Hills” goal kicking. But that is nit picking about a game,  when at last the players and coaches collectively  gave themselves and their Club’s supporters something to feel slightly better about.

So the search for the elusive first victory of the 2016-2017 league campaign moves onto Peebles on the 18th February with a 15.00 KO.      Bus leaves Hughenden  at 12.00 .  All spectators and support welcome.

“Hills” 1st XV –  Rory Harte, Jimmy Griffith, Scott Busby, Scott Halliday, (Jamie Maddox), Dan Williams, Darren Knox, Ross Thomson, Ryan Williamson, (George Stephenson), Harry Perston, Blair Mackenzie, (Callum Kettles), Chris Tulloch, Alec Cameron, Owen Gemmell (C), Ryan Reilly, (Conor Duignan) and Harry Cordner.  All subs used.

Bernie ‘The Bunnet’ Mitchell

Scotland Women vs France Women 6N 11th February 2017

Everyone at Hughenden is delighted to note the recall of LANA SKELDON to the squad of twenty three for the 6 Nations game at La Rochelle this Saturday.  All her friends at Hills wish her all the best for her return to the front row  and hope all her team mates, including Jade, Heather, Lindsey, Louise and Jemma, can produce their first 6 Nations win.

Women’s Six Nations, Wales vs Scotland, Neath, 14/2/2016

Scott Halliday Strikes Gold With 6 Nations Tickets

Pictured in the Sports Club bar is the latest winner, Scott Halliday, of the awards the Club is distributing for effort and commitment during both games and training evenings. The “Hills” 1st XV head coach, Robbie Stewart, in presenting Scott with two stand tickets for the 6 Nations international vs Ireland noted:  “Scott was very prominent  both in attacking and defensive modes in our recent game against Preston Lodge and is very deserving of these tickets“.

Scott was somewhat overwhelmed to receive the gift,  but added: “ It’s great that the Club is encouraging us all  with these awards and the players  are very grateful.”

Scotland Women vs Ireland Women – Tonight 18.35 at Broadwood

On behalf of everyone at Hughenden – sponsors, men, women , and juniors/development squad
players and non playing members and all friends – can we take this opportunity to wish our own
players the best of luck in their game against Ireland this Friday 3rd February.

So best wishes to Hilljill’s finest LINDSEY, LOUISE, JADE, HEATHER and JEMMA

Remember Cumbernauld is not miles away. Let’s try to get there and add our support !!

If you can’t make it, live coverage on BCC Live , on RTE and the 6 Nations YouTube/Facebook page

More insight on Hillhead Jordanhill Women RFC facebook page, and related articles in WorldRugby magazine and in Scrum Magazine

Remember Cumbernauld is not miles away. Let’s try to get there and add our support !!

If you can’t make it, live coverage on BCC Live , on RTE and the 6 Nations YouTube/Facebook page

Also relevant articles in WorldRugby magazine and in Scrum Magazine

Owen Gemmell Receives Award From Head Coach Robbie Stewart

Pictured in the Sports Club Bar at Hughenden  are 1st XV back row forward Owen Gemmell and Head Coach, Robbie Stewart. The occasion is the award of a Cafe Source Too voucher to Owen.

Robbie noted: “Owen’s aggressive and dynamic performance last week at Biggar was exactly what we are looking for in our attempt to find that elusive first win in this season’s competition. We need a lot more of that from everyone.”

Owen commented: “We all need to get together to grind out that first win.“

The Hard Slog Continues in the Biggar Sunshine

Biggar 57 points Hillhead/Jordanhill 7 pts

The final scoreline appears very one sided,  but the “ Hills” XV and their bench certainly contributed to a performance which at times during the first half  matched Biggar’s,  but ultimately lacked staying power against the home side’s superior physicality and cohesion.

It will  not be very often that a report from Hartreemill talks up the conditions in which the game was played,  as Biggar’s ground occupies a very exposed location in South Lanarkshire ; but this particular Saturday saw Mother Nature at her finest   with a clear blue sky, warmish sunshine and astonishingly no wind.  Occasionally the “Hills”  performance matched the superb  overhead conditions with forwards and backs combining well to play through the phases,  as their coaches demand.    The final ten minutes of the opening period, which saw hooker Harry Perston harshly sin binned  for an offside,  found the visitors constantly on the attack and they were rewarded for their persistence in the forwards   via Owen Gemmell’s   driving play and scrum half Ross Thomson’s distribution with a James Lowry  try close to the posts which stand off Rory  Harte converted. The half time score of twenty two  points to seven slightly flattered Biggar.

The second period, however,  saw Biggar move away from “Hills”,  as numerous injuries to the visitors disrupted their shape both in attack and defence.  Biggar certainly were ruthless in their exploitation of the “Hills” defence and fairly rattled through  their routines with slick distribution behind the gain line putting their quick runners consistently into space.  Despite some solid defence from, in particular,  Jamie Maddox and Dan Williams , Biggar ran in a  further five tries.  “Hills”  did have occasional forays into the Biggar half, principally through Scott Busby who broke the Biggar line well, but his attack ran out of impetus due to limited support.

“Hills” therefore are still seeking that elusive first win of the season, but there was sufficient spirit and tenacity displayed to suggest that with some luck there may well be dancing in the streets of Hughenden soon.

“Hills” 1st XV –  Dan Williams, Andrew Bolster, Scott Busby, James Lowry,   James Maddox, Rory Harte, Ross Thomson, Ross Andrew, (Callum Kettles), Harry Perston, Blair Mackenzie, (Adam Plunkett), Chris Warnock,  Alec Cameron, (Scott Whiteford), Owen Gemmell (C), Conor Duignan, Ryan Reilly (Harry Cordner).  All subs used.

Bernie ‘The Bunnet’ Mitchell

Hills Narrowly Lose Out in League Title Decider

Murrayfield Wanderers 18 Hillhead/Jordanhill 12

In a very closely fought game watched by a sizeable crowd on the back 4G pitch at Murrayfield on Sunday, Hills lost the BT Women’s Premier League title decider by three tries (plus a penalty) to two (one converted).

In a match that was a fantastic advert for the women’s game in Scotland (televised highlights will be shown on BBC Alba- details TBC), the two top teams in the League produced some excellent running rugby coupled with some outstanding defence and set piece work.

In what might be a unique occurrence for women’s rugby in Scotland in a match at this level, Hills fielded three sets of sisters in the game: the Smiths (Lindsey and Sarah); the McMillans (Louise and Siobhan) and the Haldanes (Caitlyn and Erin). Indeed a small piece of history and one in which they can all be immensely proud.

Teams and full match report: SRU match report

Photos: Rugby People ; Craig Watson and SNS

Both teams will be working hard to prepare for the Sarah Beaney Cup with the quarter finals taking place on the 26th March. The Premier Development Cup (for all Premier teams running throughout February and March) starts on February 5th- full fixtures at www.scottishrugby.org

Ross in the Spotlight

Ross Thomson, Hills 1st XV scrum half was rewarded by Robbie Stewart for his exemplary commitment and delivery over the first 2 weeks of January.  Ross was presented with two stand tickets for the Glasgow Warriors European Cup game vs Munster this Saturday night, 14th January 2017.

Robbie noted : “ Ross scored our only try and played very well in a very difficult game for the Club   last Saturday at Kirkcaldy.  This week he has worked hard at training and showed the commitment the Club is looking for,  as we seek that elusive first win in our league programme.”

A beaming Ross added : “ This is great.  I’m grateful to the Club for providing this opportunity to watch Glasgow.“