HillJills win cup tie after early fright
Hillhead Jordanhill Ladies 54 points | Stirling County Ladies 22 points
IT WAS AN INAUSPICIOUS START by Hills in this Sarah Beaney Quarter Final cup tie at Hughenden. After some twelve minutes of play, Stirling County were already seventeen points up and showing considerable enterprise in their running and handling skills to score three tries. Hills, for their part, looked nervous and sluggish and made many uncharacteristic errors. Head Coach Aird Jardine reacted accordingly and brought on three bench replacements, one of whom was the returning Hannah Smith from the International 7’s in Hong Kong. The remainder of the first half saw Hills inching their way back slowly into the game against the well organised and lively visitors. Hills scored three tries in the second quarter of the game with Stella Kyalikunda, the feisty Dani Cormier and the pugnacious Emma Barlow each touching down.
With Hills now playing down the slope in the second half, the score began to rise inexorably for the home side with tries from Hannah Smith (two), Emma Barlow and Jemma Forsyth, one of which was converted by Mairi McDonald. More tries came from Amy Watkins, Lucy Mills and finally Mairi McDonald. The last score from the Hills’ elfin scrum half showcased some wonderful rugby skills: a fast pick up from the base of the scrum, a break into open field and dummy with a swerve to score between the posts. For good measure, Mairi converted her own try. Stirling were mostly on the back foot for most of the second half, but they did recover temporarily to record a good try. Hills ran out deserved winners by fifty four points to twenty two, but they were made to work hard for their victory. Hills’ forwards were well served by the tireless Hannah Telling at open side wing forward and props, the experienced veteran Heather Lockhart and youngster Aimee Johnston who scrummaged powerfully and carried effectively in the loose.
Hills now have an away semi-final tie at Millbrae against Ayr on SUNDAY the 14th April, 14.00 KO. Captain Hannah McHugh will require to organise her team to play on the front foot and get in their stride quickly from the first whistle if they are to have any hope of reaching another cup final on Silver Saturday at BT Murrayfield on the 27th April 2019.