Tag: #hillsrugby

Hills Good for Three in a Row

Hillhead/Jordanhill 24 points Perthshire 15 points

This was a closely contested game against a tenacious hardworking Perthshire side, who would feel justifiably aggrieved that they left the field without a bonus point which their play deserved. As it was, the Hills outscored their visitors by four tries to two, and enjoyed the bulk of the territorial possession, but could not finish as often as their lead up play would have suggested.

Hills had to thank again their scrummage, who collectively were technically superior to a much bigger and heavier Perthshire pack, for some go forward ball ; but their line out stuttered badly throughout the whole game, and was a far from reliable source of first phase possession. The fine line kicking of stand –off, Rory “Finn” Harte, which regularly produced gains of some fifty metres from penalties, was not followed with the retention of possession to allow the Hills to build continuity via repeated phases of play. The Hills therefore had to rely on quick thinking of Rory Harte and the finishing skills and twinkling feet of Arnaud Bauchet on the right wing to make progress, despite the fact both centres, Scott Halliday and Robbie Williamson, ran hard.

Rory Harte linked well from short range with his captain, Owen Gemmell, to score his first try which he converted. Hills’s second try came from his inch perfect kick in open play from left of the posts to the open wing, where Arnaud Bauchet caught the ball and plunged over the line: a wonderful piece of skill from the Hills no.10. Hills third try was franked by Bauchet’s Gallic trickery where he mesmerised the visiting defence to touch down.

Perthshire, for their part, when they put pressure on the home defence, scored two fine tries of their own when playing down hill and reached the half time whistle only five points adrift from the Hills. The second half was altogether a much dourer affair than the first with neither side being able to prise open their opponents, although the visitors edged closer with a well struck Bowater penalty. It took Hills well into the final quarter of the game to make sure of victory when Rory Harte pounced on a Perthshire mistake when they suicidally tried to run from within the shadow of their own posts only to lose the ball. Harte’s conversion took his side nine points ahead with only five minutes left, and despite the visitors valiant efforts they were unable to get closer for a losing bonus point. Unfortunately in the last frantic few minutes Hills no.8, Ryan Reilly received his second yellow card of the game and his presence on the field may well now be restricted for a few weeks.

This was Hills third consecutive National league win, a feat which the Club have not managed since season 2009-2010 when they were promoted from the “old” Premier 3 division. Their next game is in the far South West at the Bladnock pitches of Newton Stewart. Four in a row is possible but all components of Hills game will require to be in good order to prosper at this difficult venue.

Hills 1st XV: Ciaran Callaghan, Arnaud Bauchet, Robbie Williamson, Scott Halliday, Jamie Maddox, Rory Harte, Darren Knox (James Reekie), Mark Barrowman, Harry Perston (Harry Singh), Blair Mackenzie (Ross Fergusson), James Acheson, Bill Kenny, Conor Ferguson (Martin Malone), Ryan Reilly, Owen Gemmell (C) Subs all used.

Hills Dim the Northern Lights

Gordonians 27 points Hillhead/Jordanhill 31 points

This was a tremendous advert for National League 3 rugby, played on the well manicured open spaces of Countesswells in Aberdeen. It could be described fairly as a classic game of two halves, with Hills, initially playing with the breeze, racing to a twenty-four to ten points margin at halftime, and then defending desperately in the final quarter, as Gordonians fought their way back from a thirty-one points to ten score line after fifty minutes to take it to the wire at no side in this enervating watch. The four points margin of Hills success came down to one fact : Rory Harte, who enjoyed a commanding game for Hills in the pivot slot, kicked all his conversions while Gordonian’s left sided goal kicker failed narrowly from the extreme left side pitch positions where his forwards had heaved themselves over the line.

Both sides expressed their attacking intent from the start with the ball being moved into the open field, and it took a tremendous tackle from Hills no 8, Ryan Reilly, to present the visitors with their first opportunity. The ball, dislodged from the tackle, was scooped up by Rory Harte who hared for the try line some eighty metres distant, and just made it to touch down between the posts. The conversion from in front of the posts just staggered across the crossbar, but the stand off’s second kick, a penalty from thirty metres out, was more convincing and Hills were up and running, the tiredness of their bus journey behind them. Left winger, Ciaran Callaghan, finished well from fifteen metres – his fourth National League try in three games – and Rory Harte benefitted from some unusual Aberdonian generosity when he was passed the ball by a Gordonian in open space. The quick thinking stand-off required no further invitation, and he raced in unopposed to touch down for his second try of the game. Both these tries were converted, and Hills had a healthy half time lead.

This was extended in the third quarter when open side wing forward, Conor Ferguson, plunged over from close range with Harte again adding his goal points. But from then, the whole momentum of the game changed. Hills were clearly disrupted by injuries – Blair Mackenzie left with leg damage, Captain Owen Gemmell experienced shoulder issues and scrum half Conor Duignan, who had a fine all round game, was concussed. Gordonians wisely played a territorial game based on thunderous clearances from their own half into the Hills twenty two. These disruptions caused Hills to lose their way on the touchline and Gordonians were ruthless in driving the lineout maul which, when stopped, allowed their front row to showcase their pick and drive drills. Trying hard to play the game in the Gordonians half, the Hills just managed to hold on for the final fifteen minutes to record a famous away win. This was a fine performance by the nineteen who travelled, and enjoyed thoroughly by the small group of supporters and much more widely by the Hills diaspora via social media.

Hills now play Perthshire at home on Saturday the 14th with a 15.00 KO. There is the pre-match lunch with tickets via events@hjrfc.com . It is hoped this recent return to form will generate a good support. A close game is in prospect with Perthshire also showing some good form.

Hills 1st XV Scott Busby, Darren Knox (Arnaud Bauchet), Robbie Williamson, Scott Halliday, Ciaran Callaghan, Rory Harte, Conor Duignan (Darren Knox), Ross Jackson (Blair Mackenzie), Blair Mackenzie (Harry Singh), Mark Barrowman, James Acheson (Chris Warnock), Bill Kenny, Conor Ferguson, Ryan Reilly, Owen Gemmell (C) (Scott McMillan) Subs all used.

2XV Take 5 Points from Physical Encounter

Hills 2nd XV emerge victorious with 5 point after physical encounter away to Carrick 2nd XV. In a match that had two red cards and one penalty try it would be fair to say there were some fiery moments. Hills kept there cool and saved all their tries for the second half to win 31 points to 7.

The first half had no scores but plenty of action for the medium sized crowd to enjoy. Carrick brought a physical game plan which was met with equally strong defence. Big tackles close to fringes from Charlie Smillie and captain James Reekie stifled Carrick’s attacking options. With Hills misfiring at lineout time they were unable to build the pressure on the home team. Before the first half was over Chris Kelly was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle. Unfortunately video technology was not available at Rozelle park as the card was very suprising.

The second half saw the second red card being produced. This time Carrick’s number ten was sent off with 35 minutes or rugby left to play. Then Hills decide to step up a gear. The first try scored by the Graham Davidson, running from deep after a quick turnover. The standoff Angus Lauder converted easily and Hills had their tails up. Hills had now fixed the lineout problems and were playing further up the pitch. A penalty kick thirty meters out cooly sloted by the up and coming number ten built the lead again. The second try was another long range effort. This was scored by substitute Rory Wilson who galloped down the wing untouched to dot down under the posts. Seventeen points in front and Hills turned it on again. Pressuring Carrick’s line the ball found its way to Graham Davidson again who lived up to the name “Bambi” and skipped over to score. The infallible Angus Lauder again added the extras.

Discipline became an issue for both teams in the second half. Both not willing to give an inch. Carrick kicked a penalty to touch to attempt to get some foothold back in the game. After a well set driving lineout was taken down two meters from the line the referee had little choice but to award a penalty try.

With time running out and Hills on the last attack of the game there was a feeling the bonus point would be a bridge too far. Back row Loïs Legendre had other ideas! A sneaky pick and go on the oppositions 22 meter line resulted in the flying French man sliding over the line. Angus was handed another easy kick and the game and maximum points went to the boys from Hughenden Road.

Final score Carrick 7 – Hills 31.

2XV Squad: Darryl Elvin, Callum Kettles, Francisco Gomez Acuña, Charlie Smillie, Graeme Milloy, Loïs Legendre, Sam Bancroft, Hélian Bourrel, James Reekie, Angus Lauder, Graham Davidson, Chris Crome, Ruaraidh Mayes, Padraig Cuthbertson, Gaëtan Boyer, Tom Primrose, Chris Kelly, Rory Wilson, Grahame Cannell.

Coaching: Stuart Irvine, assisted by Ryan Williamson
Report: Stuart Irvine

Hills Bag First 5 Pointer

Hillhead/Jordanhill 43pts Dalziel 25pts

There is no immediate historical significance in the date of the 13th February 2016 unless you are one of the long suffering supporters of the Hillhead/Jordanhill 1st XV, as that was the last time the Hills won a home National League match. For the record, it was against Ardrossan Accies who were defeated that day by twenty nine points to nil. From the squad then, five players remained for this fixture, and for Darren Knox, Scotty Halliday, Rory Harte, Harry Perston and Blair Mackenzie, the nineteen months gap until their next home win must have seemed like a long dark nightmare suddenly ended. The end of this game at Hughenden proved a wonderful occasion for both Hills players and their supporters, but, in truth, the eventual outcome of the victory did seem, at some stages, rather remote.

The first half of the game was end to end stuff with mistakes galore, turnovers and scrappy play and Hills doing their very best at times to ensure Dalziel remained in contention, as Hills gifted their opponents two interception tries. While the game lacked some quality in parts, it made up for it elsewhere in physicality and commitment with home scrum half, Conor Duignan being a constant thorn to Dalziel in all phases of the game. With the lead changing hands three times during the first forty minutes, the good sized crowd were kept fully engaged. The indefatigable Hills hooker, Harry Perston, scored the first try with stand off Rory Harte converting, who then added a penalty; home captain, Owen Gemmell, who led by example throughout, scored the next, a fine individual try after a lung bursting run from fully forty five metres ; and the final try of the first half was a touchdown at the foot of the posts from home no. 8, Ryan Reilly with Harte again kicking the conversion. This try and conversion was perhaps the most significant one of the game in that it eased to the Hills to within four points of their opponents who, by the thirty eighth minute, had established an eleven points lead.

The second half found Hills hitting downhill towards the Gartnavel end of the ground and the game’s physical intensity did not abate. Hills, however, remained resolute with Dalziel suffering from some injuries which blunted their efforts both at the breakdown and in midfield. Quick thinking from loose head prop, Mark Barrowman at the front of a close range line out, produced a drive over try which Rory Harte again converted. Mid-field paralysis then ensued for a twenty minute spell in which neither side could gain any advantage, but eventually Hills perseverance and quickness in moving the ball into the wide channels paid off with flying winger, Jamie Maddox, racing over unopposed for a fine try which Harte again converted. The best try, the sixth and final one of the afternoon, came again down the right hand channel where Jamie Maddox was put into space. He gathered his chip kick ahead, but was then tackled. Replacement back, James Lowry, was available, however, to scoop up the loose ball and pass onto the unmarked Scott Halliday to crash over the line. Rory Harte again converted and Hills had added some twenty one unanswered points. The game was not yet ever as Dalziel attacked with a ferocity to try to gain themselves a four try bonus counter, but they were repelled and the final whistle blew.

Hills take to the road again with their next fixture being in Aberdeen against Gordonians with a 15.30 KO. Travel arrangements to follow.

Hills 1st XV Squad: Craig Colvin, Jamie Maddox, Scott Busby (James Lowry), Scott Halliday, Darren Knox, Rory Harte, Conor Duignan, Mark Barrowman, Harry Perston (Harry Singh), Maurice Adams (Blair Mackenzie), Jonny Kinniburgh (Martin Malone), Bill Kenny, Conor Ferguson, Ryan Reilly and Owen Gemmell (C)

Report: Bernie Mitchell
Pictures: Iain Dewar

McCrea’s and HJRFC Renew Partnership

As announced today, Hillhead Jordanhill RFC are delighted to share the news of the sponsorship renewal from long standing partners McCrea Financial Services.

McCrea’s support throughout the years have benefited rugby development for all our teams at Hughenden. The continuation of this partnership is a fantastic news for all Hills players and supporters.

Hills President Andy Scott commented: ‘I am delighted we are renewing our ongoing partnership with McCreas who have been a great supporter of HJRFC. Everyone at the club is looking forward to developing our relationship further through imaginative activity.’

Hills 2AXV Win in the Whitecraigs Sun

Whitecraigs 2XV 26pts Hillhead/Jordanhill 2AXV 44pts

Following a debated draw in the 2A’s league opener last week, this bonus point win at Whitecraigs was well deserved. It came about due to some excellent teamwork under the watchful eyes of newly appointed manager Ian McLennagham and the travelling touch judge, Andrew Scott (snr), who patrolled the pitch side with his customary efficiency. For his next tour of duty, the Club will endeavour to ensure Andy carries his flag with him.

There were some good individual performances. Up front, returning Douglas Elder was very accomplished, running well with ball in hand and working hard in all phases of the game. His three tries were just reward for a fine afternoon’s toil away from the demands of Curriculum for Excellence. Sean Smith at stand off led the line well with good distribution from hand and, early on in the game, steady goal kicking.

Hills benefitted from a good understanding of the structures of the modern game although those on the touchline, unfamiliar with some of the team calls, remained bemused as to the number of wild beasts that were believed to be wandering in the open fields of Renfrewshire.

It was a good outcome then for this squad, at this level of the domestic game. It is those players with the better fitness levels who will prevail throughout the season. The improved attendance at training does undoubtedly help.

1st XV Provide Better Performance Despite Loss

Murrayfield Wanderers 57pts Hillhead/Jordanhill 12pts

The casual media observer might see the above and conclude that Hills were once again soundly beaten and any promised resurgence is a mere pipe dream. Well to them and others, this “scribbler” would like to report that quantitatively (re: the scoreline) that would be true, but on evidence viewed from the touchline, it would be unfair. The Wanderers were quite the best, well organised and fit team that the Hills have played since they faced a rampant Marr back in the heady days of Premier 2 rugby. The game was set up for MW with fine overhead playing conditions and underfoot, the lush Murrayfield turf, which allowed for a jet paced game that the Hills fully embraced in counter, but just could not quite contain.

Murrayfield were fast, resourceful, direct and importantly, very experienced. This was a relevant fact given the youthful nature of some of the Hills squad, yet the visitors kept their defensive formation and line speed, tackled hard throughout and when able, took the game to the opposition. Specific mention should be made of the rumbustious wing play of Jimmy Griffiths and the driving play in the loose of Chris “Warlock” Warnock, the captain for the night who set a fine example. Another player to catch the eye was last season’s Jordanhill School boy, Ciaran Callaghan, who showed good footballing skills throughout, converting Mo Adams short range try from the left hand touch line. This was no mean feat for a left sided player. He also scored a last minute try for Hills when Murrayfield had been reduced to thirteen players.

Although the half time score was 31-0 to the home side, there was never any chance of a capitulation or rout, since the Hills spirit in the squad kept them going well throughout, and indeed the second half score line of 26-12 speaks well of their resilience and resolve in the face of significant odds. This was some game, and a hard shift for all the visiting squad. One player remarked: “Last week’s game against St. Boswells was a stroll in the park compared to this.”

Next Saturday at Hughenden there is the only Glasgow derby in National League 3 when Hills play their old rivals Glasgow Accies, with a 15:00 KO. The Hills are worthy of support. There is a pre-match lunch at 13:00 for 13:15 and all are invited. To book a place please contact us at events@hjrfc.com

Hills 1st XV Squad: Craig Colvin (Ciaran Callaghan), Ciaran Callaghan (Jonny Kinniburgh), Scott Busby, James Lowry, Jimmy Griffith (Conor Duignan), Robbie Williamson, Conor Duignan (Darren Knox), Mark Barrowman (Ross Jackson), Harry Perston, Blair Mackenzie (Maurice Adams), Chris Warnock (C), Bill Kenny, Conor Ferguson, Ryan Reilly (Jonny Kinniburgh) and Scott McMillan.

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.

 

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 Reserve Teams Achieve Bonus Point Victories

A strong set of results at the weekend saw both Hills 2XV and 2A’s take bonus point victories to set up an exciting end to the season, with both teams competing for a fourth place finish.

Hill’s 2XV win 26-54 away to Hamilton 3XV

After opening the match with a try from their very first possession, Hills 2’s couldn’t manage to build on this fiery start. Despite dominating in the scrum and operating a functional line out, the score tipped into Hamilton’s favour as they exploited the space out wide with some slick passing. Hills went into halftime trailing, although the game was close, with two tries apiece.

The early part of the second half remained close, until in the 50th minute Hamilton breached the Hills’ defence with two back to back tries, extending their lead. However, with Hills superior fitness starting to show, Jimmy “The Rocket” Griffith scored a fine solo try to help catalyse the rest of his teammates into action. A further six unanswered tries followed, securing the Hill’s 2XV a deserved bonus point win.

Hillhead Jordanhill 2XV: Adam Plunkett, Harry Singh, Callum Kettles, Loïs Legendre, Christopher Warnock, Michael Sinclair, Jason Smith, David Webster, Matt Murray, David Paterson(C), Jimmy Griffith, James Reekie, Christopher Crome, Matt Rea, Miguel Jimenez Pimentel, Charlie Duncan, Lewis Costello and Grant Payne.

Hill’s 2AXV win 45-31 at home to Dalziel 2XV

At Hughenden, the 2A’s found their way around a strong Dalziel 2’s pack. An excellent result, particularly as Dalziel had beaten Hills soundly in their first league encounter of the season.

Remaining fixtures

The 2XV is working to secure fourth place in West Reserve League 1. There are two fixtures remaining, both at home,  with Carrick 2XV on 1st April and GHK 2XV on 8th April. After some disappointing early results, the 2XV have shown great strength and skill to finish the season in a much more commanding fashion than they started.

Meanwhile, the 2A’s are also looking to secure fourth place, in West Reserve League 2. East Kilbride 2XV will host the Hills 2A’s on 1st April, before a two-week break, after which the 2A’s season will end with a Glasgow derby at Allan Glens on 15th April.

By Loïs Legendre & Hamish Adamson