Orkney 31 points Hillhead Jordanhill 22 points
The turbulence experienced by the Hills party of twenty four, nineteen players and five team management, as they took to the leaden skies above Glasgow in their Loganair scheduled service to Kirkwall on Saturday morning was nothing compared to the battering the forward pack took some three hours later on terra firma at Pickaquoy Park.
Given the prevailing zephyrs, Hills had won the important toss and had chosen to play with the wind at their backs. But the first five minutes were a chastening experience for the Hills, as their pack was rammed backwards in the first three scrums , thereby destroying any momentum they had hoped to gain. The home XV quickly held the upper hand, and made the visitors pay with a well worked move which led to a try close to the posts which was easily converted . Instead of playing the game in the Orkney half, Hills were constantly on the back foot engaged in desperate defence in which captain, Dan Williams, excelled. It was only towards the last ten minutes of the first half that the Hills were able to put any pressure on Orkney. First of all, Euan Brown kicked a thunderous penalty from all of fifty metres. Then Ciaran Callaghan finished very well in the left hand corner on the first occasion Hills managed to recycle quickly with the final pass being exquisitely floated over the centres’ heads by stand off Rory Harte. Hills were ahead eight points to seven at the end of the first half, but the margin was wafer thin considering Orkney now had the best of the conditions.
Sure enough the second half featured waves of attacks from Orkney with Hills striving hard at all times to get out their half. Orkney scored four tries, but charitably they recognised two of these were “own goals” gifted through uncharacteristic errors in the Hills rear-guard. The visitors two second half tries were due to the fine footballing skills of Damien Genocchio and Rory Harte, the former picking up loose ball in midfield and making the line on his own, brushing off several would be tacklers on his way. The try was one only Rory Harte could score. A meandering run out of his own twenty two from a quickly taken tap penalty produced numerous side steps and feints to the effect not one home player could put a hand on him on his way to the line. But there really was little else to cheer the Hills in the second half. The technical area resembled a small scale A. and E. ward. Second rower, John McLellan, was stretched out with a badly sprained ankle ; Scott McMIllan had a badly bruised knee ; Ryan Williamson was coming round slowly after a head knock ; and Ross Fergusson was cooling his heels in the sin bin. Such was the dislocation that scrums became uncontested and Dan Williams was asked to play in three different positions : inside centre, scrum half and then No 8. The Club Physio, Aoife O’Shea, did remarkably well to manage all the injured players.
Hills next league game is at home Friday night, the 9th November, when Murrayfield Wanderers are the visitors for a floodlight game, kick-off 19.45.
Hills 1st XV – Euan Brown, Craig Colvin (Jamie Maddox) , Damien Genocchio , Dan Williams (C) (James Hamilton-Potter) , Ciaran Callaghan , Rory Harte , Andy Blair (Dan Williams) , Ryan Williamson (Ross Fergusson) , Harry Perston, Daryll Elvin , John McLellan (Bill Kenny) , Charlie Smillie, Euan Ramage (Preston McGoldrick) Bill Kenny (Dan Williams) Scott McMillan . Subs all used
Report & Picture: BBM