Peebles 41 pts Hillhead/Jordanhill 17 pts
The final scoreline in this highly competitive game at the Gytes was tough to take for the “Hills” players, coaches and their small band of travelling supporters. “Hills” competed very well from the kick-off and opened the scoring with a close range try from their captain, Owen Gemmell, well converted by Darren Knox. The rest of the first period saw “Hills” on the ascendancy in open play, but a misfiring line out proved to be their achilles heel with frequent opportunities to retain possession gifted to the opposition. Darren Knox countered some late home pressure with a well struck penalty goal from forty metres but Peebles ended the half fifteen points to ten ahead.
The hosts continued to pressurise from the start of the second half, adding some fourteen points in ten minutes; but the next twenty five minutes of play were very evenly contested with the whole squad working well in defence and putting together some good driving passes of play in which Owen Gemmell provided a fine lead. It was a just reward for the visitors’ efforts when Jimmy Griffith latched onto a Blair Mackenzie pass, following a Ross Thomson switch, to cross the line unopposed and score his fourth national league try in three games. Stand off Darren Knox added the goal points and at seventeen – twenty nine the visitors looked like closing on their hosts, but a tiring front three – with Harry Cordner’s early injury and a late call off from the bench there were no front row substitutes – and some unhelpful refereeing decisions militated against any further fightback. In the last four minutes, Peebles added two further tries to put a considerable gloss on the final scoreboard.
There is no doubt that the last three league games, – Biggar, GHK and now Peebles – have witnessed much improved form from the “Hills” when compared with their early season first round games. The matter is now to repair the fractured line out and stitch all the other components together to produce the first national league win.
Next home game is Saturday the 4th March when “Hills” play Kelso who are chasing hard for a top promotion spot from National League 2. The game kicks off at 15.00 at Hughenden.
“Hills” 1st XV – Rory Harte, Jamie Maddox, (James Reekie), Scott Busby, Scott Halliday, Jimmy Griffith, Darren Knox, Ross Thomson, George Stephenson, Harry Perston, Blair Mackenzie, Chris Tulloch (Scott Whitford), Callum Stove, Alec Cameron, Owen Gemmell (C), Harry Cordner and (Chris Warnock) All subs used.
Bernie “The Bunnet” Mitchell