Hillhead/Jordanhill 7 pts Ardrossan Accies 13pts
There was little in the way of thrilling rugby to entertain the sparse crowd in this bottom of the table clash at Hughenden. Nervous players and poor handling skills from both sides conspired to yield some thirty seven scrums, some of which were required to be reset. There was then an absence of continuity and structured rugby throughout, but no little sweat and application. “Hills” understandable and commendable desire to record their first win of the 2016/2017 season certainly contributed to a lack of patience in their build up and some white line fever when in their visitors twenty two. Quickly taken tap penalties were favoured rather than assessment of whether attempted goal kicks would have been more profitable. Ardrossan for their part seemed a bit more settled and deserved their half time lead of a single converted try thanks to some good rucking and ball retention in the home twenty two. “Hills” for their part relied on full back Rory Harte to give them field position; and in their forwards the bullocking charges of injury returnee Jonny Urquhart. From one of his thrusts , centre Scott Halliday linked well and “Hills” should have scored from his dash to the line, but support play was limited and the visitors’ defence scrambled clear.
Matters did not improve much in the second half as play degenerated into a midfield stalemate, but Ardrossan did keep their scoresheet active with a further two penalties. “Hills” huffed and puffed when in possession of the ball, but were unable to stretch Ardrossan until the seventieth minute of the game when left winger Scott Busby finally scored a try after some persistence in the visitors twenty two. The spirits of the home supporters were lifted when Rory Harte’s touchline conversion sailed between the posts to set up a very tense final ten minutes of play. But Ardrossan were wise enough to keep “Hills” in their own half and the game finished with the home team unable to make much, if any, impression on the visitors’ defence.
This marked the final game in the first round of NL 2 league matches, and next Saturday “Hills” travel to Whitecraigs for a 14.00 KO. It is to be hoped that some of the spirt of the season of Advent might well imbue the “Hills” players with some passion to sneak a win.
“Hills 1st XV Rory Harte, David Vallance, (James Lowry), Dan Williams , Scott Halliday, Scott Busby, Darren Knox, Conor Duignan, (Clement Tranier, Blair Mackenzie, (Carlos Celsius), Harry Perston, Jonathan Urquhart, (Callum Kettles), Callum Stove (C), Chris Warnock, Ryan Reilly, Christopher Tulloch, Rory Dewar. All subs used.
Bernie Mitchell “The Bunnet”