Tag: #hillsrugbyreserves

Hills 2XV Continue Their Unbeaten Run

In what was to be the toughest match of their season so far the Hills 2’s took on West of Scotland 2XV, a healthy rivalry to put it mildly. West were clipping at our heels in second place in the West Reserve League 1, so it was an important fixture.

The tone of the match was set early on to be a tight game but Hills scored an early try by Nathan McCann putting us up to 7-0. Discipline in the ruck was not the Hills forte however and our penalty count against finally resulted in a successful penalty kick for West.

Hills were denied what should have been a penalty try after a high tackle prevented from crossing the line. Alas the referee didn’t give it and the match went on.

After putting pressure on their line for a good while, our hearts sank as West intercepted the ball and sprinted down the line to score. A galling moment for players and spectators alike.

7-10 at half time, the top table clash was holding its promises, and it was far from over.

Hills starting the second half gunning down the slope and converting pressure through James Maddox crossing the line for our second try. The tension increased further as West replied with a try of their own. With the score line at 12-15 going into the final ten minutes it was unsure what way the match was going to go.

Soon though, Hills was again bringing the game in West 22’s, and a Northern Irish wrecking ball in the form of Adam Eakin powered from 15m out over the line to take the score the match, with West players hanging off him as he went.

The final minutes of the game were electric, West throwing all their last effort into an empowered Hills defence which would break…
Hills 2XV 19-15 West 2XV final score, raising fists for the hosts.

Notable performances included flanker Tom Primrose who was an ever present force on the pitch, Fergus Denton for a clearance kick more questionable than Tiam’s choice in post match attire. Men of the Match went to the French dream team pairing of Alban and Hugo in the back line who consistently bring it up a notch and are forever reliable. Shout out to the their French entourage that just about doubled the spectators.

So will the Multicoloured Men from Hughenden continue their dominance over the West Reserve 1 league? Absolutely #TwosDontLose

Report by Will McLean

The Season Isn’t Over Yet!

This weekend there will again be four senior teams representing Hillhead Jordanhill and that is without the Men’s 2XV or Women’s 2XV being in action. The U15 Girls will also be taking on Caithness in the semi final of their cup competition. This is a considerable feat of organisation and a testament to all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes at the club. Particularly so, when you compare the number of senior teams our nearest neighbours put out. Your correspondent is in the midst of a UKCC Level 1 coaching qualification, being hosted at Hughenden, where one of the key themes is how we keep players in the game long term. For Hillhead Jordanhill, with the progress being made in the Mini and Midi sections, the future on that front must surely be bright! Now, to the weekends action!

This Weekends Match Schedules

20th April
Stirling County v Hillhead Jordanhill Women’s 1XV – KO 20:00 at Bridgehaugh, Stirling

21st April
Hillhead Jordanhill Men’s 1XV v Newton Stewart – KO 15:00 at Hughenden
Greenock Wanderers 2XV v Hillhead Jordanhill 2A – KO 15:00 at Fort Matilda playing fields, Greenock
Cartha Queens Park Veterans v Hillhead Jordanhill 4XV (Veterans) – KO 12:30 at Dumbreck

22nd April

Hillhead Jordanhill U15 v Caithness -KO 13:00 at Hughenden

Ladies Penultimate Match Before The Sarah Beaney Cup

The HillJills take on Stirling County in their final league match of the season. This will be the ladies last competitive fixture before the final of the Sarah Beaney Cup. The two sides last met on 26th January, with the HillJills running out comfortable winners in a 79 – 5 win at Hughenden. The league title was secured the same evening. The coaches will no doubt be looking for an assured performance to help prepare for the cup final. Coach Thomas Davidson should also be congratulated for his recent award as Stirling University Sports Coach of the Year. The two student teams under his watchful eye have both won their respective leagues. With a league win for the HillJills also under his coaching belt at Hughenden, a win in the Cup must surely be high on the wishlist to finish the season in style!

Silver Saturday, featuring the Sarah Beaney Cup, will take place on Saturday 28th April at BT Murrayfield. The ladies cup final will kick off at 14:10, on the main international pitch. Tickets are £20 for Adults, £10 for concessions, and £5 for Under-18s. You can support the club by purchasing your tickets for Silver Saturday via this link, https://www.eticketing.co.uk/scottishrugby/?advcode=HillJor.

The Silver Saturday Details.

Final Match Of The Season For Men’s 1XV

As this is the final match for the Men’s 1XV, it seems like an apt time to reflect on how far the team has come on. Last season the Men’s 1XV finished dead last in National 2. With no league wins to their name, the team scored a total of 229 points and conceded 1052. A points differential of -823. No try bonus points were won, with only 1 losing bonus point obtained in their 22 league matches. This meant the team finished on 1 point for the season.

Going into their final league match of the 2017/18 season, the Men’s 1XV sit 8th in National 3. The team has obtained 45 points. Out of 21 league matches played, the team has won 8 and lost 12. They have scored 396 points, conceding 580. A points differential of -184. Try bonus points have totalled 7, with losing bonus points coming in at 2. As it stands, the team is sitting on a points tally of 45.

If ever recognition for a steadying set of hands was deserved, coaches Dean Kelbrick and Graeme Blackhall are two worthy candidates. The number of points scored has increased by over 70% and the number of points conceded has been reduced by over 40%. No mean feat considering where the team was at the end of last season.

Our opponents this Saturday are Newton Stewart. The last meeting of these two sides resulted in a comfortable 45 – 3 win for Newton at home. They currently sit 4th in National 2, knowing that two bonus wins in their last two matches will keep them in the hunt for promotion. This will be a challenging match for Hills, no doubt about it.

2A’s Aim To Finish On A High Against Greenock

With two matches to go in West Reserve League 2, the Hills 2A squad will be pushing to finish as high up the table as possible. Of 18 matches played, the team has conceded only one due to not being able to field a team. Compare this to the rest of the league and you won’t find a club with anywhere near as good a record. For this reason, many of the other teams in the league have as many as six matches still to play. This means Hills won’t know their final league position for some weeks. However, they will be keen to finish strongly. Hills beat Greenock Wanderers 62 – 20 at Hughenden, so expectations for a similar result will be high.

Vets Reunited!

After a hugely successful rebirth of the 4XV in January, another invite from Cartha Queens Park RFC has been received to get the old boys of the sofa for a few hours. Hector MacIntyre has been putting together a motley crew of Hills legends in the last few weeks. Hills ran out winners last time round, 17 – 45. Rumour has it that the infamous Jimmy Gow could be making an appearance, who knows how that could affect the result on Saturday!

Some of the Hills “Vets” at the previous match in January.

Dates For Your Diary

28th April | Silver Saturday, featuring the HillJills v Watsonians – KO 14:10 at BT Murrayfield
30th April | Hillhead Jordanhill RFC AGM – 19:00 in the Yill Hoose at Hillhead Sports Club
4th May | End of Season Dinner – 19:00 at Hillhead Sports Club. Tickets available at training from Dougie Grove and Sarah Smith or by email from Dougie on grovedougie@gmail.com
6th May | Hills Legends Lunch, 12:30 at Hillhead Sports Club. Our annual celebration of Hills legends, get your tickets from John MacLean on jnm@kelvinassociates.co.uk

2A’s Break 2018 Duck Against Dalziel

Hillhead Jordanhill 2A XV 17 – Dalziel 3XV 14

Saturday saw a strong Hills 2A’s side host Dalziel in repeat of the close November encounter which saw Hills overcome Dalziel 31-33 away. After the previous week’s fixture with Greenock postponed due to flooded pitch, Hughenden was fortunate to enjoy excellent playing conditions this time round.

In the opening exchanges of the game it was Dalziel who demonstrated a greater physicality and managed to keep ball tight to the pack to maintain the initial possession advantage. However it was Hills that looked more dangerous ball-in-hand with some great runs in open play from both wing-forwards and a feisty Fergus Denton at 8. The midfield partnership of Euan McMahon and Ben Chaddock had pretty lean ball in opening quarter but made some good carries and distributed well to a strong back line after an excellent break from scrum-half Dean Campbell Drummond sent Dalziel defense scrambling. Some quick hands off the ruck finally managed to connect a flying Andy Bolster who duly held his man to put William Murphy away in the corner for the first score of the game.

However Hills failed to capitalize on the score and after many punishing phases Dalziel had won their way to 5 meters out and took advantage with a pick and go to ground behind the Hills posts.

Hills appeared to be in the ascendancy again before the break and in the next phase of possession Tom Donaldson tried to capitalize on a stretched defense with a cross-field kick to wing which did not quite come off. With the score 7-5 in favour of Dalziel at the break, Hills needed to focus on providing a better platform to execute more attacking options and take advantage of our pace out wide.

The start of the second half mirrored the start of the game with Dalziel claiming opening set-pieces to find themselves winning a scrum from a knock-on 10 meters out. Hills had defended well the repeated charges of Dalziel’s pack. But a scything run from the Dalziel outhalf stretched the Hills midfield to expose a gap which allowed him to cut inside for an easy try which he duly converted (i.e. a mis-tackle in the back line allowed them to score after being bounced by our pack…).

In the next phases Hills re-grouped with the front row matching the Dalziel challenge in the scrum to work the home side inside the Dalziel half before Tom Donaldson punted a sharp and rangy grubber through a gap to force a line out behind the 22. Hills, now looking more urgent, presented multiple attacking options before Finlay McMillan crashed over the line off the back of a ruck 2m out. The conversion went through the posts to put Hills in close range with 12-14 to the guests.

The following period saw lean pickings for both sides with some broken play and steely defenses halting momentum. However this ended with an inspired and incisive try from Dean Campbell Drummond, aka Dynamite Dean, who exploited a very narrow but exposed blind side from 10 meters out. The kick stayed shy of the posts but put Hills ahead 17-14. The game closed with Dalziel throwing repeated charges down the slope to take back the score. Hills defended well and demonstrated good enough discipline to ensure there was not a point taken in the Dalziel challenge until the liberating final whistle.

Hills will now look to build on this first win of ‘18 for the 2A’s with solid defense, discipline and more confident handling as positive improvements over the last few difficult games.

This game also saw a beautiful and too rare event to go unnoticed, as Niall Houston* received his first senior front rower star. Congratulations to him!

Report: Stephen Cunniffe
Picture: Ian McLennagham

2A’s Harvest on the Last Play

Dalziel 3rdXV 29 points Hillhead/Jordanhill 2AXV 33 points

This was a very enjoyable, closely contested game played on a very firm pitch at the Clelland estate in Motherwell. For most of the game, Hills struggled again a much more physical home pack who were well drilled in the short range line out driving mauls. Indeed, Hills had to exist on scraps of first phase possession. Legendre was the main source of line out balls, while scrum half, Bolster, struggled at times with an uneven heel from the set piece.

It didn’t look good for the Hills at halftime, despite some strong running from Stevens which produced a penalty try and then a close range effort from Michaud. Dalziel, ten points up at the interval (22-12), had benefited from numerous penalties, using their number 10 long-range kicking to bring them in range for their mauling game. Dalziel continued to drive hard at the Hills, but the superior conditioning of the visitors paid off eventually in the final quarter.

Thanks to the wonderful surgical skills of flyhalf Crome, who carved up the home midfield with a fine defence splitting run, Hills were able to establish some attacking options in the Dalziel half. Quick movement of the ball through the hands allowed both visiting wingers to extend the home defence, but the searing pace of Mitchell and “Bambi” Davidson proved too much for Dalziel and both scored fine tries, with Davidson converting both to take the score to twenty nine points to twenty six with only sixty seconds left to play.

During the last play, Mitchell switched his line of running to set up an attacking ruck in the Dalziel twenty two. Veteran replacement prop, Richardson, officiating in second row, tidied up, then picked and drove at the splintered Dalziel fringe defence laying back a superb ball for Andy Bolster to uplift and scamper unopposed to the line. Winger Davidson added the extras and the final whistle blew. The Hills squad was ecstatic, while the Dalziel squad were dejected, having just lost a game they had been ahead in for seventy nine minutes. Fair result ? Maybe “Aye”, maybe “Naw”. The beauty and aesthetic of sport!!

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 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.

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

Hills 2XV Just Do Enough to Overcome

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