The minis enjoyed glorious spring sunshine on a trip to Bishopton for a three way tie including Cartha Queens Park and some very tasty burgers. We fielded teams from p1 right through to p7 with strong showings throughout the squads who were all very thankful to their Mums for letting them play on such an important day! The minis will break for the Easter holiday, returning to action at Hughenden (weather and groundskeeper allowing) on 23 April for training at 1130. For more details, get in touch using our contact form.
On a beautiful spring Sunday at Cartha, Hills won through to the Sarah Beaney Cup semi finals, scoring 16 tries in the process, winning 98-7. Player of the match for Hills, Abi Evans, crossed the line 6 times with Mairi McDonald, Cartha’s nomination for opposition player of the match, converting 9 of the tries.
Try scorers were as follows: Abi Evans (6), Sarah Smith, Kirsty McConnell, Aimee Watson, Mairi McDonald, Jemma Forsyth, Lizzie Willis (2), Kirsty Reid, Lindsey Smith, Heather Lockhart.
Hills squad: Kirstin Daly, Aimee Watson, Abi Evans, Louise McMillan, Lizzie Willis, Mairi McDonald, Sarah Smith, Siobhan McMillan, Kirsty McConnell, Debbie Falconer, Jenny Johnston, Kirsty Openshaw, Hannah Telling, Kirsty Reid, Jemma Forsyth, Stella Kyalikunda, Lindsey Smith, Heather Lockhart, Fiona Dorman, Eilidh Simpson.
Coach: Graeme Blackhall
Hills now play RHC, who defeated Ayr, away, on Sunday 2 April. Kick off 2pm.
Hillhead/Jordanhill 15 pts West of Scotland 39 pts
On a wonderfully sunny and warm day for flowing rugby, this was a disappointing outcome to end “Hills” home fixtures in National league 2 for season 2016/2017. As in previous games, there were periods when “Hills” won good first phase possession, retained the ball and worked through the phases to gain territorial advantage. But on too many occasions, visitors West were able to make easy inroads through the home defence to score some relatively straightforward tries.
“Hills” had a good first quarter initially containing a lively opening from their visitors and then working their way forward for second rower, Calum Stove, to burst through from twenty five metres to score an unconverted try. This stung West into action and they quickly rattled on three tries by utilising quick passing to and fro across the field to exploit gaps in the home defensive line. But the livewire Ross Thomson at scrum half for the “Hills” made a fine individual break from some thirty metres out to score just to the left of the posts to bring “Hills” closer to their visitors. Unfortunately Darren Knox’s conversion was charged down, leaving the half time score seventeen points to ten in West’s favour.
For the first ten minutes of the third quarter, West looked as if they were going to overwhelm “Hills” by adding another two tries. It was left again however, to scrum half Ross Thompson to shake the “Hills” out of their second half torpor by breaking well from his own half, evading several defenders and then passing onto centre Scott Halliday who made good ground to the West try line where he was tackled despairingly; but just managed to get the ball away to Chris Tulloch who supported well to touch down. That took “Hills” to fifteen points to West’s twenty nine and, for a moment, the home support felt they were back in the hunt. But that was illusory, and West then took full advantage of “Hills” mistakes and poor defensive efforts to add a further uncontested ten points to finish deserved winners by thirty nine points to fifteen.
All of the “Hills” squad can be commended for their hard work and effort to keep going for another eighty minutes of ultimately unrewarding rugby. If there had been a “Hills” man of the match, it would have been awarded to left winger Jamie Maddox, who enjoyed an exemplary afternoon both in defence and attack.
“Hills” conclude Season 2016/2017 with an away fixture at Memorial field, Ardrossan, on Saturday the 1st April. Kick off is 15.00. All supporters very welcome.
“Hills” 1st XV – Darren Knox, Dan Williams, Scott Busby (Graham Davidson), Scott Halliday, Jamie Maddox, Rory Harte, Ross Thomson, Ryan Williamson (Jonny Urquhart), Harry Perston, George Stephenson (Blair Mackenzie), Alec Cameron (Chris Tulloch), Callum Stove, Owen Gemmell (C), Harry Cordner, Ryan Reilly (Alec Cameron). All subs used.
Pictured against the background of the Sports Club bar at Hughenden after Thursday night’s training are 1st XV captain Owen Gemmell and “Hills” mini rugby Convener, Ken Grierson. Ken is receiving two stand tickets for the Warriors game vs Connacht, provided by the committee as a recognition of service during the season.
Andy Scott, “Hills” President, noted: “I am delighted that Ken, an outstanding servant to the Club over many years has been given these tickets. Ken will become a “Hills Legend” on Sunday the 14th May and thereby join the select group of former players and committee members whose service and support over a long number of years is formally acknowledged.”
Hilljills beat Stewartry Sirens 53-24 in the Premier Development Cup Final played at Greenlaw, Castle Douglas. Player of the match was Elis Martin on her first game for Hills seniors.
Try scorers were as follows: Hannah Smith (5), Kirstin Daly (2), Stella Kyalikunda (1) and Abi Evans (1). Conversions by Mairi McDonald.
Squad: Debbie Falconer, Stella Kyalikunda, Fiona Dorman, Kirsty Openshaw, Siobhan McMillan, Elis Martin, Kirsty Reid, Hannah Telling, Sarah Smith, Mairi McDonald, Lizzie Willis, Hannah Smith, Kirstin Daly, Aimee Watson, Abi Evans, Eilidh Simpson, Georgie Keys, Mallory van Wyngaarden, Erin Foley.
Next match for the HillJills is against Cartha next weekend in the quarter final of the Sarah Beaney Cup.
Aberdeenshire 63 – 12 Hillhead/Jordanhill
Despite the one sided nature of the final scoreline, there were periods in this game when the Hills dominated territorially, but, as has occurred all too frequently this season, the pressure has not resulted in points for the board. After Aberdeenshire had raced into an early fourteen points to nil advantage, Hills camped in the home twenty two for some fifteen minutes, but to no avail, despite the frequent brave charges of captain Owen Gemmell and second rower, Callum Stove, for the line. “Shoe ins” of kicks at the posts were ignored for glorious but ultimately failed attempts to cross the line. Against a side of Aberdeenshire’s quality, one small mistake can be punished unerringly, and a dropped ball during a Hills attack allowed the home team to lift the siege and race to the far end to score. The only remaining bright note for the small visiting support from the first half was stand off, Rory Harte’s ability to fashion a try from a smart kick, chase and pick up to crash over the line. The half time score of 35-5 reflected the home side’s ability to play efficient, high tempo continuity rugby and ruthlessly put away the opposition.
The second half was almost a carbon copy of the first period: Hills trying desperately hard with good line breaks from Scott Halliday, Jake Hayden and Owen Gemmell, but not having the skills in continuity play to hurt the home team. The Hills score, when it did come, was a penalty try, the referee deeming the defenders did not roll away from a tackle area and thereby impeded the attackers. Praise must go to the home side for their effectiveness in open field play and also their goal kicker who, from a variety of kicking positions, seemingly effortlessly slotted nine out of nine conversions. A perfect day for him, but another disappointing one for the Hills.
There is now a gap of a fortnight till Saturday the 25th March when Hills play their penultimate National league game against old rivals, the West of Scotland, at Hughenden with a 15.00 hours KO.
Hills 1st XV – Andy Bolster, Graham Davidson, Jake Hayden, Scott Halliday, Ryan Reilly, Rory Harte, Matt Murray, Blair Mackenzie, Harry Perston (Harry Singh), Kenny Harper (Harry Perston), Chris Tulloch (Alec Cameron), Callum Stove (Owen Gemmell), Owen Gemmell(C) (Fraser Gow) Harry Cordner, Alec Cameron (Jonny Kinniburgh) All subs used.
Report & Featured Picture by Bernie Mitchell
Hills 2XV 13 – 8 Glasgow Accies 2XV
This 2nd XV derby match under the Hughenden lights attracted a goodish crowd on a cold evening to watch a game which was fast and furious : both sides played at a high tempo and both were equally furious with the match referee. But despite the whistle bashing, the entertainment was good, and, in truth, the match could have gone either way, as both sides were fairly evenly matched.
Hills scrummaged well with Struan Maidment on the loose head impressive throughout and the back row of Jamie McLaren, Josh Douglas and Alex Armstrong was devastating in the broken play. But Accies moved the ball more fluently and were always dangerous when opening out.
Hills took an early three point lead through a penalty goal struck by veteran stand off, David Paterson, but the visitors soon equalised and thereafter the game stagnated into a midfield arm wrestle with neither side able to seize any opportunity. A stray kick out off defence, very well fielded by Matt Murray led directly to the host opening score. The ball was moved quickly to Euan Harrington who drew the Accies defence well to put David Vallance clear on the left wing to finish expertly. The half time score, 8-3, was just about right.
Hills now had the benefit of the wind, but it was Accies who stormed back into the match and, after a series of close range drives, scored well to the left of the posts, but the conversion was missed. This reverse galvanised the home team, who used the wind through the towering kicks of Euan Harrington to gain ground in the visitors half. The Accies defence held out well, until the bulk of Jonny “Captain Pugwash” Urquhart proved unstoppable from five metres out. That took the Hills one score ahead. Until the final whistle both sides had chances, but the level of handling on either side could not cope with the defensive pressures and Hills ran out eventual winners.
Hills 2nd XV coach, Stuart Irvine, noted : “I’m really proud how the team dug in to win, they weren’t afraid to get stuck in and balled hard. The conditions were terrible but we used them to our advantage in the 2nd half. Things to work on in training and hopefully we can play smarter and improve some decision making. That should ensure the team keeps winning.”
Hills 2XV: Miguel Pimentez, Matt Murray, Chris Crome, Euan Harrington, David Vallance, David Paterson, Conor Duignan(C), Struan Maidment, Harry Singh, Jonny Urquhart, David Webster, Graeme Milloy, Jamie McLaren, Josh Douglas, Alex Armstrong. Subs all used Darryl Elvin, Fionn Whyte, Jonathan McCook, Toby Joshua
Pictures by Hamish Adamson
Report by Bernie Mitchell
Hills ladies and junior girls (U18s and U15s) were all in action yesterday, Sunday 5th March.
Hills ladies played Murrayfield Wanderers at home to record a 63-10 win in the semi final of the Premier Development Cup. Player of the match was Kirsty Reid with two tries whilst other Hills scorers were Hannah Smith (4), Mairi McDonald (3), Aimee Watson (1), Hannah Telling (1) and Ally Cook with the conversions.
Hills play the winner of Ayr and Stewartry in the Final which is scheduled for the 19th March.
The game was pictured by Fiona, you will find more of her very good shots here.
Hills squad: Siobhan McMillan, Stella Kyalikunda, Fiona Reardon, Kirsty Openshaw, Jenny Johnston, Kirsty McConnell, Kirsty Reid, Hannah Telling, Sarah Smith, Ally Cook, Lizzie Willis, Hannah Smith, Kirstin Daly, Aimee Watson, Mairi McDonald, Debbie Falconer, Georgie Keys, AnnMarie Franz, Caitlyn Haldane.
Meanwhile at Bridgehaugh, Hills under 18s lost to Stirling County 40-12 in the West League whilst the under 15s played a friendly. Judging by the smiles and the mud, a good day of rugby was had by all!
Featured picture by Lesley Robertson
Above Pictures by Fiona and Jade
Report by Heather
Hills 15 – 29 Kelso
There were periods in this game when the Hills competed well with Kelso, the league’s favourites for promotion, but unfortunately the continuity could not be sustained and they ultimately lost by two goals and three tries to one goal, one try and a penalty goal.
Some of the Hills highlights were memorable: hooker Harry Perston’s strike against the head in the first quarter which should have produced the opening try but ended up being run into touch due to an inacurate pass. George Stephenson’s magnificent effort at the heart of a line out driven maul which saw him score with the home pack pushing the visitors over their line. Jamie Maddox’s catch and attack off a restart kick at half way which should have resulted in a try but was recalled due a dubious decision ; Rory Harte’s line kicking which at times was superb and his second half try ; Callum Stove’s all round effort and captain Owen Gemmell’s leadership and abrasive play in the loose.
But Kelso had too much power and physicality for the Hills to contain, and despite a brave second half by our boys, which played out at one try a piece, the margin at half time for Kelso (7-24), was too much for the home team to make up.
The team head up to the Granite city next Saturday, 11 th March with their squad for the third last fixture of the 2016/2017 season to play Aberdeenshire at the Woodside Sports Complex, kick off 14.00.
Hills1st XV: Dan Williams, Jamie Maddox, Scott Busby, Scott Halliday, Graham Davidson (Jake Hayden), Rory Harte, Ross Thomson, Ryan Williamson (Blair Mackenzie), Harry Perston, George Stephenson (Adam Plunkett), Chris Warnock (Ryan Reilly), Callum Stove, Scott Cameron, Owen Gemmell(C), and Harry Cordner All subs used
Excellent featured pictures by Dave Allen @ Kitos Photography
Report by Bernie Mitchell
Continuing on the theme of rewarding players for their effort and achievements, Kirsty McConnell work was in the spotlight last week, and is pictured receiving two tickets for Saturday’s Warriors gamer against the Dragons from the club’s head of Rugby, Bernie Mitchell.
Kirsty has a proud family background in the game : her Dad, the “Serge”, was an outstanding back row forward for the Hills and Mum, Christine, was a flying winger for the Hills ladies. Her brother Murray also currently plays professionally for Nottingham.
Kirsty noted : “Yeah, it’s really great to play here at Hills. I get great encouragement particularly when everyone tells me I am a much better player than either my Mum or Dad were”