A Glorious Day for Minis Rugby

We welcomed not just spectacular sunshine and GHK to Hughenden on Sunday 11 November but also a good
contingent of Warriors players courtesy of HJRFC sponsors McCrea Financial Services. Despite Remembrance Sunday parades which had depleted both clubs, GHK brought strong squads from P2-3 upwards for a 1000 start in the bright sunshine.

The squads were then treated to some top notch coaching tips from the professional players – amazing how much more they listen to someone from the Warriors than Mums and Dads! Everyone got well and truly stuck in and at least one of the Warriors ended up on his back in the mud. Massive thanks to Leila, Ratu and Samuela for joining us and very special thanks to legendary Dougie Hall for the P6-7 tackling and scrum coaching!

After a well-observed minute’s silence, we got down to the serious part of the day, the games. Great to play under blue skies at this time of the year and each team gave a good account of itself some with more success than others but always in a very friendly environment (at least among the coaches) with all hostilities brought to an end by the final whistle. Special kudos to Italian international back row Samuela Vunisa for refereeing his first ever match without ever needing the TMO.

Afterwards, everyone enjoyed yummy pasta from on site restaurant Cafe Source Too along with cupcakes and sport bottles again courtesy of McCrea Financial Services.

Let’s hope we have some more days like that before the weather closes in!

Text by Alisdair Matheson
Pictures © Craig Watson / www.craigwatson.co.uk / @CraigWatsonpix

Mini Rugby Madness and Glasgow Warriors at Hughenden

HJRFC and McCrea FS are delighted to confirm that Glasgow Warriors players will be at Hughenden this Sunday!
As sponsors of Hillhead Jordanhill Minis, McCreas are delighted to support the Hills Minis vs GHK match on Sunday 12th November, 10.00am to 12.30pm, and host parents to a breakfast roll and a cuppa.
If you haven’t done so already, please confirm you will be with us with your young ruggers, either through the Hills Minis Teamer system or at minis-rugby@hjrfc.com
We very much look forward to welcoming you to a marvellous morning of Mini Madness this Sunday!

Hills 2XV Take Down Dalziel Counterparts

On a sunny autumnal day, Hills 2nd XV dazzled Dalziel to come away with a 62 – 5 bonus point win. This win comes on the back of two disappointing losses but is the result of persistence in training. Frustrations have been evident in coaches Dougie and Stuart who see the potential in all reserve players, but finally hard work on handling drills has paid off.

The conditions were perfect at Jordanhill High School and for a number of the team this was a return to an old haunt. The match provided great entertainment with 10 tries consisting of a Hat-trick from Bourrel and first Hills tries for Smillie and Thompson. Similar targets set by the 1st XV were used for the 2nd XV and certainly the number of phases and number of attacks crossing the gain line were much higher than in recent weeks. The management of backs by Donaldson along with the changing angles and finding of gaps by centres Franklin and Mayes troubled Dalziel from start to finish.

Scoring started very early in the game with a first line break and collective finish. It was then the first Hills score for Smillie from a No.8 pick from a scrum close to Dalziel’s line, quick ball started the second phase to a waiting Donaldson who quickly passed onto Smillie who cut a great angle to break through the line to get between the uprights. The third try was touched down after a great forwards line out and release by Donaldson at 10 to Franklin who broke the attempted tackles from Dalziel centres. Hills fourth was Bourel’s first of the afternoon, an overthrown lineout gathered by Gillie, offloaded to Bourrel to crash through a challenging defence. Hills confidence was shining through, the forwards were punishing a soft Dalziel pack in the scrum as well contending well at every line out. Hills fifth try was very much a team try, the phase started within the Hills 22, good hands and running saw Franklin make a break running from to their 22 before facing a one on one with Dalziel fullback, a loose pass was made to Johnston who stretched out to catch above his head before gathering securely and headed straight for the line to touch down. Dalziel did manage to score one try as they capitalised on Hills not securing fringes while defending a maul after a lineout, Dalziel’s large pack was consuming defenders and their number 12 broke off on the blindside for a speedy sprint to the line. Mayes and Bourrel both crossed the line for tries six and seven before substitute Plunkett made it eight by stretching out to touch the ball right on the line. Try nine came after a lineout was picked up by McGoldrick to link with Franklin to off load to Thompson to cross the line. The final try was to be scored by Bourel to make it his hat-trick for the game.

Hills certainly played their game and at a speed that Dalziel could not keep up with. However, Hills were their own worst enemy at times giving away over 15 penalties, most of which were for coming in from the side and being offside. The defence was strong with many double tackles stopping Dalziel in their tracks. Handling and communication had improved greatly from recent weeks and with displays like this, there is no reason why Hills 2nd XV can’t climb the league table. There will be a well-earned break in matches but the squad will return to play away to Hamilton 3rd XV on Saturday 2nd December 2017.

Hills 2nd XV: Dale Coghill; Callum Kettles; Blair MacKenzie; Loïs Legendre; Charlie Smillie; Fraser Gillie; Steven Kay; Hélian Bourrel; Gaëtan Boyer; Tom Donaldson; Conor Thompson; Jamie Franklin; Ruaridh Mayes; Blair Johnston; Graham Davidson; Adam Plunkett; Preston McGoldrick; Tom Primrose; Johnny Kinniburgh.

Report & Picture by Martin Malone

Hills Continue Their Progress

Hillhead/Jordanhill 31 points Ardrossan Accies 19 points

By defeating their visitors, Ardrossan Accies by two goals, one try and four penalty goals to two goals and one try, Hills continued their steady progress of late in recording their fifth National league victory in six games, prior to the close down for the Autumnal Internationals. Yet the opening to the game did little for the nervous dispositions of the home support, such was the visitors attacking flair that they rattled on two tries before Hills awoke in the pleasant late autumnal sunshine that had temporarily sent them to sleep. Stand off, Rory Finn Harte, was the home catalyst, energising his colleagues with his vision and his range of kicking skills. The first try came from his well placed up and under to the visitors’ twenty two. Such was the power of follow up from James Reekie, revelling in his new role as blind side flanker, that the ball broke loose to be snapped up by centre Euan Brown who crossed the line unopposed to touch down. He converted his own try and that was Hills up and running for the next twenty five minutes when they dominated possession and territory. Their second try was a Harte trademark, a high hanging kick to the open side wing where Jimmy Griffith controlled the ball well to flop over the line ; Brown converted this one immaculately from the right hand touchline. The third try began deep in the Hills twenty two with Brown breaking quickly. Good driving play from captain Owen Gemmell, continued by the hard working second rower, Bill Kenny, a constant source of danger with ball in hand, produced well won breakdown ball. The forward momentum was continued by the flying left winger, Ciaran Callaghan, who ran hard for the line. Another series of rucks rewarded James Reekie with a close range try. Euan Brown finished off the first half scoring with a well struck penalty goal and Hills had added twenty two unanswered points in a thirty minute dominant spell.

Many in the home support thought that Hills, now kicking down the slope to the Gartneval end of the ground, would extend their lead easily, but their Ayrshire visitors had other ideas. Although home wingers Jimmy Griffith and Ciaran Callaghan continued to ring alarm bells in the Ardrossan defence each time they had the ball, Hills, try as hard as they might, did not cross the line again, such was the determination of the Ayrshire defence. But there were chances particularly when Bill Kenny had the ball twice in open space, but no support runners could reach him and the attacks fizzled out. Hills relied for scoreboard progress on the unerring right boot of Euan Brown, who kicked three second half penalty goals to take his personal tally to nineteen points for his afternoon’s work. Ardrossan to their credit did come back into with a well worked try from their open field runners which was converted, but brave HiIls defence in the last ten minutes of the game stopped them for adding to their score, and closed them out from gaining a losing bonus point.

This was a well contested club game between two well prepared sides who gave their all in a very open fixture. There is only one game during the next three weeks of the autumn Internationals. Hills entertain St. Boswells in the second round of the BT National Cup at Hughenden on FRIDAY the 17th November with a 20.00 KO.

Hills 1st XV: Craig Colvin, Jimmy Griffith (Scott McMillan), Scott Halliday,Euan Brown, Ciaran Callaghan, Rory Harte, Dan Williams, Mark Barrowman, Harry Perston (Harry Singh), Maurice Adams (Ross Fergusson), Bill Kenny, Chris Warnock, James Reekie, Conor Ferguson (Ryan Reilly), Owen Gemmell (C) Subs all used.

Report: Bernie Mitchell
Pictures: Hamish Adamson

Lest We Forget

Given the constant churn in the number of players and their guests who use Hughenden as their playing/social base, it would not be surprising if some were not fully aware of the origins of our Club. There is sufficient historical material on the main Sports Club website – www.hillheadsportsclub.com – to satisfy anyone who wishes to know more. Briefly, it can be stated that the grounds at Hughenden and the Memorial pavilion were opened on the 24th May 1924 and the tablets which can be seen at the pitch end of the Yill hoose ( Sports bar ) were inscribed with the names of those from Hillhead High School, staff and pupils, who lost their lives during the Great War ; a further panel was added in 1948 to commemorate those lost during World War 2.

As we approach this year’s Remembrance Sunday, the 12th November, we shall hear once again at services the familiar words of the WW1 poets – Binyon, Sassoon, McSorley, Brooke, Graves etc. – which many of us have grown up with. No less eloquent or memorable are some of the words spoken by the Very Rev. Dr. John Smith, when he dedicated the WW1 panel in 1924. He said :

“When, as is natural enough with the passage of years , we incline to take Hughenden for granted simply as our ground, we should do well to ponder on the toll of youth that was its price. Only their renown has come back to us , but their names are deeply graven on the tablets of memory”.

Boxes for donations to the Earl Haig Poppy Fund can be found at the café ground floor bar and also at the bar on the first floor.

Bernie

CloudCover Joins HJRFC Sponsors Team

Hillhead Jordanhill RFC were delighted to welcome Lance and Alasdair Gauld from Cloud Cover IT last Saturday for the unveiling of their pitch side advertising hoarding board. The company representatives got the opportunity to share the pre-game brunch and strike a pose with the victorious players of a tough game.

Cloud Cover IT are specialised in providing scalable solutions tailored to the needs of their clients’ businesses including Cloud products and IT infrastructure. We invite you to look at the detail of their services.

CoudCoverIT on Facebook / Twitter

Hills Unconvincing Win Against Brave Orkney Side

Hillhead/Jordanhill 31 points Orkney 25 points

While taking nothing away from a very brave Orkney side, which kept competing for the full eighty minutes, the Hills players and their supporters were left somewhat underwhelmed by their own performance. When they managed to pass the ball well through the hands, two excellent tries were scored. First of all debut full back, Euan Brown, opened out from his own twenty two, sensing the visitors were thin on their right flank. Stand off Rory Harte linked effectively to put left winger Ciaran Callaghan away to scamper unimpeded for fully sixty metres and backed up well to take the offload to run in behind the posts. Then the combative James Lowry broke from deep to set up Callaghan with his own scoring opportunity which he finished off clinically by rounding two opponents to touch down. Euan Brown converted one of the tries and added three penalty goals to take Hills to twenty one points to thirteen at the interval, Orkney having scored a try out wide which was unconverted, but succeeded with two penalties from Adam Watt.

From a Hills viewpoint, the second period would best be described as dysfunctional, such were their difficulties experienced in generating any pace or combined intensity in their play. Certainly one of the reasons for the absence of any fluency was Orkney’s strength and obstinacy in both the contact area and the breakdown, where the visitors were able to slow down Hills delivery and frustrate them. But the principal reason for the discomfort was poor execution of basic skills, which saw overlaps squandered and passing moves halted due to handling errors and poor ball retention. As it was, it took a good break through the middle of the field from second rower, Bill Kenny, to restore smiles to the faces of the Hills supporters when he touched down between the posts. Brown’s right boot added a further five second half points. For a club which began its travel at 22.30 on the Friday evening ferry from Stromness to Aberdeen, Orkney’s second half resilience was remarkable. Their two late tries, one from an interception, left Watt their kicker with a conversion from in front of the posts to give them their losing bonus point. He obliged to send his side on their long journey home with something for their endeavours. Orkney deserved it; Hills, if they had managed to fall over the line for their fourth and try bonus point, would have been embarrassed.

At fulltime, Hills head coach, Dean Kelbrick, was less than impressed with his side’s efforts. Certainly a much better all round performance will be required to defeat Ardrossan, who have been something of a bogey side to the Hills in recent league seasons, in the next NL 3 game. The fixture kicks off at 14.00 next Saturday, the 4th November, at Hughenden.

Hills 1st XV: Euan Brown, Dan Williams, James Lowry (Jimmy Griffith), Scott Halliday, Ciaran Callaghan, Rory Harte, Darren Knox, Mark Barrowman (Ross Jackson), Harry Perston (Harry Singh), Blair Mackenzie (Mark Barrowman), Helian Bourrel (Ryan Reilly), Bill Kenny, James Reekie, Conor Ferguson, Owen Gemmell (C) Subs all used.

Incoming: HJRFC Halloween Party

Everyone is welcome to the notorious Hills Halloween party!

This year again the stakes are high for who will take the top cash prize for best costume! Games & tunes will be flowing, promising action & smooth moves! All this topped up by some nice Yill Hoose Bar special & spooky promos… 19:30 Start!

£5 Adv. Tickets will be available from: Martin Malone, Kirsty Reid, Ryan Williamson or £7 at the door

Hills Sink On A Slaister Of a Day

Newton Stewart 45 points Hillhead/Jordanhill 3 points  

Instead of the taping and line out “blocks” which the “Hills” players had as protection for playing in this National league match transferred from the Bladnock park to the fastness of the Ladies Walk pitch in Stranraer, it would have been no surprise to see them all wearing lifebelts, such was the intensity of the rain which fell unrelentingly for the whole of the game. Even with these buoyancy aids, it is doubtful if they would have assisted “Hills” survival, as Newton Stewart played with a potency and physicality at contact and breakdown which their visitors found hard to match for the whole eighty minutes.

Certainly the narrow pitch suited the “home team’s” more direct approach which relied on the constant battering and softening up of both the fringe and the midfield defence to make progress, while “Hills” attempted to play a wider, faster offload game. Unfortunately, “Hills” forward pack struggled to move their heavier opponents in the set scrum and their line out stuttered for reliability, apart from Bill Kenny’s efforts at No. 2 jumper.  Hence the lack of real consistent go forward ball and both overhead and underfoot conditions combined to affect the visitors more than they had reason to anticipate given their recent good form.

“Hills” tried hard, but found the “hard yards” and the Newton Stewart defence difficult to penetrate.  Scott Halliday, both in attack and defensive chores, tried manfully, but Rory Harte’s play book of tricks suffered from the wet conditions, his clever grubber kicks foundering in the pools of casual water.  He did, however, convert a penalty from forty metres for his side’s only score.  Both “Harrys”, Singh and Perston, gave it their best shot(s), but “Hills” trip to the south west will be remembered only for the extreme weather conditions experienced both during the game and the bus journey there and back.

Hopefully better conditions will prevail for the visit of Orkney next Saturday the 28th October. To accommodate the visitors onerous travel arrangements, this game will kick off at 11.00. A brunch will be served in the Clubhouse from 09.45. To book, please contact events@hjrfc.com.

“Hills“ 1st XV:  Scott Busby,  Arnaud Bauchet,  Robbie Williamson, Scott Halliday, Graham Davidson (Ruairidh Mayes), Rory Harte (C),  Craig Colvin, Mark Barrowman (Ross Jackson), Harry Singh (Harry Perston), Blair Mackenzie (Ross Fergusson), Helian Bourrel, Bill Kenny, James Reekie , Conor Ferguson, Alex Armstrong.  Subs all used.

Bernie “The Bunnet” Mitchell

Jade chez les Ch’ti – Part 1

2 months into being here in France and I am loving it. It is like a family away from home, although of course I miss my Hillhead-Jordanhill family which will always hold a place close to my heart.

The first training session, I got a shock. The nauseous fatigue during and post session, the language barrier and the whole new experience was a shock to the system but one I knew that I was happy to welcome with both arms. The team are all very helpful on and off the field always available to help and give that extra helping hand when it comes to learning more French and the game project.

The season has commenced and we have made it 2 wins from 2 but that was certainly not without a fight. Sheer fight, war and determination right until the 80th minute with only harder games to come. I love how passionate and emotional the team are – it is right up my street and for those who know me, will know my love for the cheesy motivational quotes. Something there are plenty of here, albeit in a different language. From improving as a player and making life long friends, I wanted to say a huge thank you to Hillhead-Jordanhill club, coaches and players for everything over the last 5 years and everything that has come with being apart of the team.

Jade

Twitter: @JadeKonkel / @LMRCV_F
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