Tag: MightyHills

Mini-HillJills Strike Again and Reach Cup Quarters

Sunday saw our U18 Girls drawn to play Cartha in the first round of the Girls club cup! The girls were in confident mood following last weeks try fest v Annan! (55-0 at Hughenden for those who missed it)

Hills girls were on fire right from the start and took the game to their opposition straight from the kick off!
Strong running from the forwards and some dazzling back play saw the Hills blow Cartha away, scoring 8 tries in the process!
2 tries each for Zoë Toner, Anne Young and Erinn Foley and a try a piece for Melanie Grant and Jess Murphy with a number of fine conversions from Mel seen the girls run out 52-0 winners and progress through to the 1/4 finals of the cup!

Our forwards had stranglehold on possession with numerous strikes against the head in the scrum and stealing most of Cartha’s line-outs! Anne, Chiara and Aimee provided a strong set piece platform with Juliet and Eve in the engine room! This allowed us to launch No8 Erinn Foley at the Cartha defence time and again!

The backs are starting to string some moves together and with each match improve! The midfield of Brogan, Abbé and Mel has a nice balance to it and this in turn is providing good ball for the back 3 to explore and Zoë, Heather and Bethany/Jess lapped it up!

Report by Andrew Johnston

Hills/Loch Lomond U13 Back on the Grass

After a couple of cancelled matches it was great to finally have our combined Hills/Loch Lomond U13 out on the grass for their first match of the year. Any cobwebs were soon cleared when playing three 15 minute sets against a hard tackling Strathaven.

Both teams brought 17 or 18 boys so our boys had their first experience of fifteens over the thirteen usually played at S1.

Our scrum was good and we saw Strathaven going backwards on more than one occasion. We had some good phases of play and an excellent try in the first period. The game became more broken in the latter periods and Strathaven played better as a team in coming up in a defensive line and their support play and rucking.

Our front pack individually were good and will come together even more as our fixtures continue. Our rucking was sometimes tentative leading to turn-overs and we probably need to get more tackling from the backs. Combining with Lomond is great for us and the boys are getting on well together and getting to know each other better.

This fixture was a repeat of one in November and on this occasion we were clearly more competitive.

Big thanks to referee Stella Kyalikunda

By Gary Gillespie, U13 Coach

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

Summer is Coming, and Tartan Touch at Hughenden

Hillhead Jordanhill RFC is very proud to have been selected as a new Tartan Touch Hub this season!
This summer, The Hills will host sessions at Hughenden of this very integrative and simplified non-contact version of Rugby. Minis, junior and senior players will all mix in, and welcome any new comers to the game and the club.

The rules are very easy and designed to maximise the fun around a rugby ball; please visit tartantouch.org for a preview.

More information will come following this announcement, stay tuned for details!

Hills Collection for Drumchapel Food Bank

Following the initiative of Louise and Owen, our club captains, HJRFC is collecting items for Drumchapel Food Bank . The club is inviting the whole Hillhead Jordanhill community for donations. They should be left under the tree in our Yill Hoose Bar (Hillhead Sports Club upstairs bar) between Thursday 7th and Sunday 10th December.

@drumfoodbank is an independent Food Bank, they receives no government funding and is not subsidised by a church organisation, relying purely on the kindness of the local community and local businesses.

As well as providing their clients with food we also provide a wrap around service in which we signpost them to the necessary organisations to help with debt advice, mental health, budgeting, etc. Over Christmas the team will be providing clients with a Christmas dinner and gifts as well as usual food.

The following items are particularly needed at the moment:

  • Tinned Meals (mac n Cheese, Curry, Stew, etc…)
  • Toilet rolls, Soap, Soap powder
  • Tinned Custard & Rice Pudding
  • Tinned Veg (Sweetcorn, peas, beans, etc…)
  • Nappies (size 5/6/7)
  • Toys for Children of all ages
  • Presents for adults (must not contain alcohol, if gift cards, Argos is recommended)
  • Wash sets for adults

Whether you are involved in the Womens, Mens, Youth section or part of the Hills community, please take this chance to make a real difference to some people’s Christmases.

🎅 #oneclub #hillshelps #happyhillsmas

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 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

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.