Haddington 19 points Hillhead Jordanhill 20 points
The last five minutes of this game were unnecessarily tight for the Hills players and supporters at the well appointed grounds and Clubhouse of the Haddington Club in East Lothian. Certainly Haddington had made life very uncomfortable for the Hills in the opening quarter when they attacked incessantly and were deservedly seven points ahead at the end of the first quarter. But then the visitors found their bearings and controlled the game for the next fifty minutes. Euan Brown opened the scoring with a well struck penalty from the right hand touchline into the breeze, and then quick passing, featuring Rory Harte, Dan Williams and Graham Davidson, allowed full back Craig “Stick Man” Colvin to weave his way through for a fine try. There were other notable contributions from the speedy Hills three quarters in the first half, principally from two glorious breaks from well within his own half from inside centre Callum Weir, both of which suffered from immediate lack of support in the home danger area. In the first period, the Hills forward pack performed well in the set scrummage against a much heavier Haddington opposition, but touchline frailties remained.
For most of the second half Hills continued to do all the running and pressing with both backs and forwards showing fine handling skills. Graham Davidson finished well in the right hand corner, after good leading up work from Euan Brown, Charlie Smillie and Rory Harte. Hills third and final try was one for the rugby purists. Sub winger Damien Gennochio fielded a wayward penalty from Haddington, and then moved the ball quickly infield from where it went smartly through five pairs of hands to allow Craig Colvin to motor through the disintegrating defence from fifteen metres to score in the corner. Euan Brown nailed the conversion well from the touchline, which in the final context of the game was to prove the difference between a narrow win or a narrow defeat. “Hills” then became very profligate in attack failing to finish on at least three occasions when it looked easier to score than not. But credit to Haddington who made a very spirited revival against the visitors who began to suffer from injuries which necessitated many positional changes. While victory was well deserved, the margin was very slender and may help focus the minds of the “Hills” squad, as they prepare for three very tough games over the next three weekends.
On the 22nd and 29th of September respectively, Hills have home games against joint NL 3 leaders, Newton Stewart and then Gordonians while on the 6th October they play West of Scotland at Burnbrae. Three cracking fixtures and it is hoped that as many supporters as possible will provide their backing. Mon’ the Hills!
Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin, Graham Davidson (Damien Gennochio) , Rory Harte , Callum Weir (Roger Webster), Ciaran Callaghan, Euan Brown, Dan Williams , Ross Jackson (Ryan Williamson), Harry Perston, Ross Fergusson (Paul Howell) Ryan Williamson (Scott McMillan) Charlie Smillie (James Acheson), James Acheson (Calum Weir), Conor Ferguson and Scott McMillan (Harry Singh)
Text & Picture: BBM