Fire Starter

Hills ignite new season with a strong first pre-season session

Last night was a perfect Scottish summer evening to start preparation for the new season. 56 senior players attended the club’s first session to prepare for Season 2017-18 and many faces are still to appear. Players were welcomed with a Mo’Farah fitness test to measure everyone’ work baseline; followed by an intense session including fitness work, skills development and a lot of game action. Overall a good effort in a great atmosphere.

Dean Kelbrick commented: “there was a huge effort from everyone, which was good to see. It gives us a benchmark as to how we want to work on our development this season” and added “The club fields 3 male and 1 female senior team through the season, so it’s great to see that we have started with this kind of turnout”

Pre-season for seniors will continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 18:45 sharp, with Saturday sessions from the 29th July (Club’s Day) and pre-season fixtures on the 5th and 12th of August.

 

Hannah Smith SRU Top Player

Scotland & Hillhead Jordanhill RFC Hannah Smith was crowned BT Women’s Premier League Player of the Season at the Annual SRU Award dinner.

Hannah was recently celebrated as Player of the Match in the Sarah Beaney Cup Final, where her aptitude, skills and unshaken mental strengh unleached the Hilljills to victory.

The SRU stated the Scotland Women international took home the award for BT Women’s Premier League Player of the Season following her performances during the year, not least her outstanding contribution to Hillhead Jordanhill’s victory in the Sarah Beaney Cup.

The veterinary surgeon began playing rugby at the age of 17 at Stirling County. She first joined Hillhead Jordanhill Women in 2011/12 when settling in Glasgow to study. She also played for Lichfied RUFC while working down South before retuning to Scotland this season.

Hannah seized her full international debut for Scotland Women against France in the 2013 Six Nations. She went on to earn seven caps before suffering an injury in the 2016 Six Nations. But, we definitely hope to see the talented 24-year-old contributing further to the National XV squad.

Hannah was selected for the Scotland Women 7s squad ahead of the 2017 Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Trophy. She travels to the Czech Republic this weekend, with Abi and Louise, for the first leg of the Trophy. First game on Saturday 09:44 BST.

Congratulation and good luck Hannah!

Success at Ayr Beach Rugby

Turnberry Beach Rugby this year was slightly different: there was no Turnberry and no actual beach!

Instead, TBR was made part of Land O’Burns Weekender Festival, with the beach rugby being held at Ayr Rugby Club last weekend. Creatively, the beach was brought to Millbrae and a sand rugby pitch marked out on part of the main pitch.

Men’s, ladies’ and junior teams competed throughout the day. Hills entered two ladies teams: Hills (those who had played at Turnberry before) and Jills (those who had not) played in the round robin stages against Greenock Wanderers, Cumnock, The Bill McLaren Foundation and Ayr.

Both teams reached the final through some entertaining matches, to offer a dramatic Hills vs Jills finish. After being tied at full time following some great tries by both sides, Jills scored the sudden death winner courtesy of Andrea Gaffney. Player of the tournament was Aimée Watson, Hills captain for the day.

Thanks to everyone at Ayr Rugby Club for a great day.

Featured picture by keen eye Alan Graham & plenty more of the event HERE
Report by Heather Lockhart

COMING NEXT!
This Sunday 4th June, both Hilljills senior and junior (Under 18 and Under 15) teams travel to Murrayfield to contest the National 7’s. The juniors play in the morning whilst the first match for the senior team is scheduled for 13:35. Supporters always welcome.

 

 

Breakfast with the Lions

The Hills and Cafe Source Too invite you to Hughenden for the 3 test matches against the All Blacks:

Saturday 24th June
Saturday 1st July
Saturday 8th July

Enjoy a full Scottish breakfast with a fresh orange juice, toast, tea/coffee while watch the game in the Sports Bar.
Breakfasts are £10pp and must be booked at Cafe Source Too in person or by email, before close of business on the Thursdays prior to games.

Any question, please refer to Bernie

Am Fior Spiorad

Contacted by former head coach Chris Reid, Hillhead Jordanhill was invited to take part in the TRI Social 10’s Rugby Festival at Kilmanock RFC on Saturday 20th May.

Trust Rugby International (TRI) is a proactive, Scottish based charity, whose goal is to bring individuals and communities together through an integrative practice of rugby. They are also particularly involved in running Clan Teams (unified teams) in Glasgow, Ayrshire and Edinburgh, which incorporate and socialise players with learning disabilities.

With the help of our own Owen Gemmell, who has been involved with TRI for a while already, the Hills assembled a cross-club squad which head the A77 for the event. Ayrshire weather opened up for the occasion, ladies games and men games were played side by side in a nice and sunny atmosphere.

Playing unified rugby can be a bit distabalising at first, but it becomes very quickly enjoyable. It improves head up rugby with adapting constantly to your teamate or opposite player. Overall, it allows everyone to enjoy the social spirit of the game and integrating and very wide range of wisdom/age and skills.

After the unified games, the Hillhead Jordanhill delegation was challenged to a crafty game with the “Ba Ba’s”, the matured Kilmarnock RFC team. We saw the, so far contained, competitiveness of both side raise in a tight and high scoring game with the Hills very narrowly overcoming.

At the end of the day, the Hills squad was very honored to receive the “Am Fior Spiorad” festival trophy, rewarding its positive involvement and attitude. The “True Spirit” quaich is now sitting proudly in the sport bar.

Trust Rugby International is running numerous trainings and events in Glasgow and Scotland and are always looking for players keen to get involved in their Clan teams to share and transmit their passion.

Hills Squad: Owen Gemmell, Rory Dewar, Andy Bolster, Stephen Cunniffe, Grahame Cannell, Loïs Legendre, Darryl Elvin, Romain Fourdinier, Shane Fergus ‘the Hurricane’ McCormick, Mark Orr, Rory Harte, Hector McIntyre, Alan Cardno and the enlightning support from Josh, Josh, Darren and Andrew.

Pictures from Chris Reid & Jamie Armstrong

Hills Annual Player Awards Dinner

The Prizewinners and All the Chat

This eagerly awaited event at the end of the 2016/2017 season was characterised  by the usual mixture of the sublime  and the ridiculous, the details of which will unfold rapidly for those anxious enough to feast on all the gossip.   After all  as someone very famous once said .. “ we all hate to spread gossip but what else can we really do with it… “

It is important at the outset to note that the ladies present, some twenty number, had determined to make an impression such was their combined excellence in dress, (very occasional) décolletage and (initially) demeanour.   The men by comparison presented  as mostly dour and uninspiring in their dress sense with, however, some notable exceptions. Martin Malone wore his kilt but there were no  substantiated reports at the time of going to print  if there was anything worn under the kilt; Calum Forrester ,a guest of Dean Kelbrick’s, clearly thought he was attending a dinner in some upmarket gaff being attired in his “DJ” with bow tie, while Messers Scott (snr) and Legendre were resplendent in their “Hills” waistcoats. This was then one of those occasions when the Ladies came out on top of the men!!

The meal was up to the usual high Café Source Too standard, but a surprise awaited the ladies’ when the dessert, a wonderful caramel (?) cheesecake, was served them by one of the “Chippendales” (aka Ryan Williamson). This appearance provided a fertile ground for all the usual wisecracks about apparatus and equipment. The bold Williamson did, however, suffer some damage to his ego, if not his manhood, by being advised by the Ladies spokesperson, Kirsty McConnell, an alleged connoisseur of matters to do with “tackle”, that he was very much “size inappropriate”. To keep spirits up during the first comfort break prior to the speeches, Abi Evans reinforced her image as an outstanding  athlete by doing “chin ups”  and swinging from one of the roof beams. Those familiar with the works of the eminent zoologist, Desmond Morris, will recognise these behavioural traits.

Then it was onto the speeches. Stuart Irvine who, admittedly on the flimsy evidence of only one speech, is recommended not to rush to  give up his day job spoke for the men. He did provide one good line for the discerning among the diners with his remark about James  Reekie always running “hard lines“. “Waldorf and Statler” really enjoyed that one, thinking aloud it was indeed “hardlines” that they had attended, but Stuart was applauded for his efforts; never easy to be a prophet in your own country. Georgie Keys, “A lady in red” for the evening, was all Transatlantic sorority and engaging with the girls in the team. It was generally agreed that the decision not to have bread rolls at the meal  had contributed to an improved feeling of health and safety for the speakers and their general wellbeing. There was regrettably, however, the occasional missile, either a napkin doused in lager or a slice of lemon, but the collateral damage was limited.

The awards proved as popular as ever, with the presenters having their differing styles of delivery. Loïs Legendre with his usual Gallic flair and Stuart “The Speaker” Irvine presided over the awards for the 2A and the 2nd XV’s.  European football has its “golden Boot“ award for their top player, and Loïs’s answer to that fashion statement is a rugby boot presented as a phallic symbol, “mounted” on an impressively polished plinth. Matt Rea (most improved player) and Ben Chaddock (player of the year) captured the 2A’s prizes; and Matt Murray (most improved player) and David Webster (player of the year) garnered the votes  for the 2nd XV. Chairman Andy Scott (Snr) who performed well under duress all night, distributed the 1st XV awards to Jamie Maddox (most improved player), Owen Gemmell (player of the year) and Rory Harte, (Players’ player  of the year). The latter, known affectionately as “Golden balls“ to some present, seemed rather off colour and became more overwhelmed by the occasion as the evening wore on. Perhaps he became dizzy as a result of the greatness imposed upon his callow shoulders? Bringing up the rear of the “Oscars” was Ladies coach Dean Kelbrick who dazzled the audience with a welter of statistics about the Ladies performance over the season: games won; points scored; tries scored;  record numbers of girls/ladies with representative honours, it flowed. The awards for the Ladies went to Aimee Watson (Most improved), Hannah Smith (Players’ player) and Hannah Telling (Player of the year). Winding up, Dean thanked  Graeme Blackhall for his help and then delivered the best line of the night, perhaps a Freudian slip, when he asked Mairi McDonald to thank Fergus Matheson (absent for the evening) for his help.  No-one present  doubted  that would not take place.  Finally the demure and sober Louise MacMillan, captain of the ladies 1st XV, made presentations to Messers Kelbrick and Blackhall on their retirals as coaches to the ladies.

It was unfortunate that the formal part of the evening then concluded rather too swiftly without any vote of thanks to the Dinner Convener, Douglas Grove, who had worked tirelessly to deliver the evening and the “Hills” President, Andrew Scott (snr) for his seamless performance  in continuity announcing. But by then the youth had evacuated to boogy on the dance floor and Rory Harte  was ready for the knackers’ yard.

PS: The usual process of contacting A and E departments on the morning after the night before to check on diners’ welfare was severely hampered by lack of communications due to the malware problems afflicting the NHS. A chance visit however to HQ this morning revealed at least two pairs  of high heels had been left in the function room. Ladies being swept off their feet!!

Bernie “The Bunnett’ Mitchell

So Near But So Far for the Gallant U18’s at Murrayfield

STIRLING COUNTY 36pts HILLHEAD/JORDANHILL 26pts

After some seventeen minutes of the Girls U18  final played on the main pitch at Murrayfield,  Stirling had rattled on some nineteen  points without any sign of reply and matters were beginning to look ominous for the “Hills” with a drubbing the likely outcome. Yet the “Hills”  girls rallied in the second quarter of the game restricting their opponents to only one further score and coming close to a score themselves,  being held up on the Stirling  line on the final play of the first half.

Whatever motivational words were delivered to their charges  by the coaches, Mesdames Konkel, Openshaw and Watson,  are uncertain but they seemed to have been wired to a slow burning  fuse, as Stirling scored immediately on resumption of the second  half.  Now Stirling, thirty one points ahead,   appeared to be on “easy street” BUT then “Hills” burst into life.  Urged  on by captain Elis Martin and the strong running from deep by Erin Haldane,  Allana McWiiliam opened the scoring, followed quickly by the elusive Helen Frater and powerful no. 8 Erin Foley, and then in the 65th minute by Helen Frater  again,  a constant thorn in the side of Stirling for the whole of the second half. Stand-off Melanie Grant converted three of these to leave the score tantalisingly at Stirling 31 Hillhead/Jordanhill 26 with only some five minutes to go.

A game which had looked to be a run away success for Stirling in the first half had turned totally and the result was now on a knife edge due to “Hills” second half resurgence.   The concluding and clinching  score when  it came in the 68th minute resulted from a Stirling  breakaway with more than  a hint of the ball being knocked on as the attacker crossed the line.   After consultation the try was awarded, but there was too  little time left for the “Hills”  girls  to mount any kind of offensive and Stirling ran out winners in what was a fine advert for Girls development rugby.

This was some experience  for all of  the “Hills”  squad to be involved in a National final played in the intimidating confines of BT Murrayfield.  Each is  to be congratulated on their commitment and performance.  The  squad  will now be able to take confidence from this game forward into next season when hopefully they will all return for training for the new Season.

“Hills” Cup Final squad:  Erin Haldane, Rachael Waddell, Meghan Davis, Helen  Frater, Brogan Carberry,  Melanie Grant, Niamh deans, Anne Young, Elis Martin ( C ), Aimee Johnston,  Tallulah Armstrong,  Eve Thomson, Allana McWilliam, Lucy Mills, Erinn  Foley.
Replacements Sara Akinrinbola, Christy Smith, Amy Saunders, Zoe Toner, Elissa Burr, Eilidh Kelly.
 

Club Season Pass Application Forms and supporting HJRFC

Buy a Season Pass and Help the Club

Hillhead Jordanhill RFC will receive commission if members purchase a home international Season Pass through the Club.

Scotland home match details are as follows:

  • Saturday 11 November 2017: Scotland v Samoa kick-off TBC **
  • Saturday 18 November 2017: Scotland v New Zealand kick-off TBC
  • Saturday 25 November 2017: Scotland v Australia kick-off TBC
  • Scotland v England TBC
  • Scotland v France TBC

The club can offer Adult season passes at Gold, Silver & Bronze. For Under 18’s we have passes available at Silver & Bronze. Prices are noted in application form.

Make sure the completed form and full payment are returned no later than Monday 22nd May 2017 to avoid disappointment.

Download the 2017/18 Scotland Season Pass Application Form.

Samoa Stadium Configuration

** Although the Samoa game is included in the value of your season pass, a different stadium configuration will be in place therefore your pass(es) will not be active and you will be emailed a link to choose your seats for this match. Please be assured that you will receive priority access to select your seat(s) before the match goes on sale to the public and you will have the opportunity to try seats in a different part of the stadium, within the same category. Match ticket(s) will then be posted to you in advance of the match. When completing the form, please ensure you supply an up to date email address.

Hilljills Triumph in Murrayfield Cup Final

Hilljills 26-23 Wandies

The final game in the BT Womens Premier League in January had seen these two Clubs pitted against each other on the back pitch at Murrayfield and , on that occasion, “Wandies” had triumphed in a hard fought game by eighteen points to twelve. Fast forward to April and the BT finals on the main pitch at Murrayfield, and the same two Clubs contested the final of the Sarah Beaney Cup with Hills Ladies the victors this time, edging their close rivals by three goals and one try to two goals and three penalty goals.

Classically it was a game of “two halves” with the Glasgow visitors, after a very shaky opening spell in which their rivals raced to a ten points lead in seventeen minutes, settling down with their two main strike runners, their centre pairing Abi Evans and Hannah Smith, proving far too elusive, quick witted and strong for a very porous Edinburgh defence. Hannah Smith ran in the first try from some fifty metres on a mazy route and the second was a touch down from Abi Evans who sprinted clear from some forty metres. Stand off Ally Cook converted both but just failed
with her third kick following another burst of pace and touch down from Abi Evans. Murrayfield chipped away at Hills with another Lisa Martin penalty, but the first half concluded with the sad sight of winger Sarah Smith being stretchered off with a head injury ; and the scoreboard showing the match finely poised at nineteen points to thirteen in favour of the HillJills.

The second forty minutes was altogether a much dourer affair than the first with Wandies dominating territorially and also enjoying the greater share of possession, but finding the Hills defence impregnable. It took Murrayfield some twenty five minutes to break through far out to the right and this time Sarah Nelson kicked the conversion, taking Murrayfield one point ahead.

The margin was increased to four when Lisa Martin, revisiting recent Broadwood Stadium heroics, kicked a penalty goal from some thirty two metres. But Hilljills did not panic with stand off Ally Cook being far from traumatised and showing fine footballing skills to take the game back into the Edinburgh half. Eventually Hills went through some phased plays to create sufficient space for Hannah Smith to dash through the Wandies ranks once more to score to the side of the posts. Ally Cook converted pushing her team some three points ahead with just over three minutes left to play. The final honours were left to Man of the Match , Hannah Smith to boot the ball out of the playing area and bring up no side. The celebrations were then unconfined with players, replacements and coaches, Dean Kelbrick and Graeme Blackhall, all joining in.

This was a fine effort from all the HillJills squad; it would have been all too easy for them to have crumbled after the opening onslaught, but they stuck to it well and emerged worthy winners . It is always invidious to pick out individuals in what was a cohesive team performance but Jade Konkel, who has enjoyed better days with her hands, was an exocet in attack sometimes taking four defenders to halt her ; Mairi McDonald was sharp throughout at scrum half providing an excellent service and Louise McMillan captained the side well and proved a more than useful source of line out ball.

WELL DONE HILLS LADIES AND COACHING STAFF.

Report by : Bernie “the Bunnet” Mitchell
Read also:
SRU Match Report
Article in the Herald Scotland
Article in The Scotman