Hillhead Jordanhill 24 points | Haddington 10 points
THIS GAME CAME TO LIFE for the home side and players only in the final quarter. at which time a plucky Haddington side had neutralised all that the Hills had thrown at them and had taken a ten points to three lead. The first forty minutes were played in continuous heavy rain and a penalty goal aside was all that troubled the scoreboard operator. Mistakes were aplenty with the greasy ball, but Hills should have made more of quality ball provided by second rower Chris Warnock, which made frequent inroads through the opposition ranks. But quick ball from the breakdown was as elusive as the sight of any of Santa’s reindeer on the adjacent Great Western Road, and the momentum was lost.
The visitors enjoyed a good third quarter when they monopolised all the close quarter ball in Hills half, and deservedly scored a try through their player/coach Kieran Cooney which was converted by their full back Alec Ferguson. Hills were beginning to look ragged and devoid of ideas as to how to break down the visitors defence when serendipity played a key part in the proceedings. The Haddington inside centre suffered a bad knee injury which necessitated his being stretchered off the field. Immediately from the restart scrum Hills no. 12 Johnny Hamilton-Potter scuttled through a gap in the visitors’ defence, straightened his line of running and went in unopposed beneath the posts for a fine individual try. Stand-off Euan Brown converted and, all of a sudden, Hills body language improved. Some sixty seconds later, a speculative kick ahead from Hills flying left winger Ciaran Callaghan was missed at the back by Haddington and back row sub Alec Cameron dribbled the loose ball to the line. Unfortunately in his enthusiasm to score he ran into the post, but the quick thinking Rory Harte pounced to secure the try. Fortunately, Alec Cameron appeared to be none the worse for his impact; the post was also undamaged. Euan Brown kicked the conversion and Hills had now nudged ahead.
The next and final score was a belter, and it was all down to the running speed and determination of the home stand–off, Euan Brown. He ran diagonally to the left wing from his own ten metre line, chipped the opposition and then hacked and chased to the line for a try which had come from nowhere. He himself converted from the left touchline and the score had reached twenty four points to ten, the home XV having added twenty one unanswered points in ten minutes of play. The final five minutes were played out with midfield mauling, which regrettably erupted in some unseasonal pugilism. The outcome was a Hills player saw red, his opponent yellow. This was not the outcome which either side had wanted or indeed any of the spectators had anticipated, as the temper of the game had been very even up till then. Barely a minute later the final whistle was blown, and both sides trooped from the field exchanging handshakes.
By virtue of their final quarter Hills deserved their victory, but Haddington did not play like a side holding up the rest of the table and will be disappointed they took nothing away from this game.
Hills play NEWTON STEWART next at the BLADNOCH in the final game of 2018 on Saturday the 15th December with a 14.00 KO. The team will travel by bus, leaving at 10.30; spectators are welcome.