Hills’ struggle to kick-start 2019 continues with West reverse
Hillhead Jordanhill 7 points | West of Scotland 61 points
THIS WAS NOT A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE for either the players or supporters of Hillhead Jordanhill RFC. Three Hills players received head knocks forcing their retirement from the game and one of these, right winger Ash Rajasooriya, required hospitalisation. Happily he was discharged at 18.00 on Saturday evening from hospital but, like his two other colleagues, he is now subject to return to play protocols. Even allowing for all the disruptions to the Hills, local visitors West were stronger in most facets of the game with the only area where Hills achieved any parity being on the touchlines, where lock James Acheson and back-row Conor Ferguson retained all their own ball. West seemed to be able to employ higher gears to spread the play and always seemed able to put men into space on the outside channels which Hills could not cope with.
In a very one-sided first half, West raced to a 34 points lead scoring six tries, one a penalty try, before Rory Harte with a wonderful sense of timing intercepted another West attack to race eighty metres unchallenged to score. A half time margin of 34-7 in favour of West was, frustratingly for Hills, a fair refection of the flow of the game.
In the second half, Hills showed much more spirit with second rower Bill Kenny at the heart of most of the attacking plays. Some continuity of phases was put together but the West defence held firm. It was left to James Hamilton-Potter to show the way across the gain line but his two fine breaks fizzled out due to lack of support. Certainly West had to work a bit harder for their second half tries, but only a myopic Hills supporter could deny the visitors their success in finishing sixty one points to seven ahead.
It is to be hoped that there will be a huge turnaround collectively for the next league game against PERTHSHIRE at the NORTH INCH on SATURDAY 26th JANUARY. Hills are now edging uncomfortably close to the basement trap door to Regional Rugby, which a win next week would help the team avoid.