LINE OUT ACTION AT MEMORIAL FIELD APRIL 2019

Season finale lacks sparkle at Memorial Field

Ardrossan Academicals 42 points | Hillhead Jordanhill 14 points

AT THE END OF THE FIRST QUARTER of their final league game of the 2018/2019 season at Ardrossan’s Memorial Field, Hills seemed to be comfortable at fourteen points all with their Ayrshire rivals. They had opened the scoring through a close range drive from Chris Warnock, Hills’ best player on the day by the proverbial Irish country mile, and a second score added by Rory Harte with a characteristic Strictly Come Dancing-style soft-shoe shuffle which dazzled the home defence. Harte converted both but his second conversion brought an abrupt end to Hills efforts in troubling the scoreboard. In the second quarter of the game, Ardrossan simply blew Hills away with some wonderful forwards and backs interpassing which left the visitors shell shocked and unable, apart from a brief Jimmy Griffith charge, to stop the home sides incessant attacks. Certainly Hills contributed to their own downfall with some woeful work on the touch lines which led directly to two of the hosts three tries. At half time, Ardrossan had moved to a commanding try bonus position of thirty five points to fourteen ahead with all five of their tries being converted by their fly-half Lewis.

The second half showed a small-but-welcome improvement in Hills’ fortunes with their defence tightening up and performing more coherently to restrict Ardrossan to only one further score. Scott Halliday ran well in the centre and back row sub James Acheson had two good runs in broken play which should have led to Hills being able to peg back their hosts, but the necessary support was not available. Hills were frustrated all afternoon in dealing with Ardrossan’s rush defence and their hosts certainly protected their first phase ball much better than their opponents did.

After well deserved home victories against Caithness and Orkney, the defeats at Murrayfield and Ardrossan meant that the end of season building of momentum was less than hoped going into season 2019/2020. That being said, those strong home performances saved Hills’ national league status for 2019/2020.

In the age of Curriculum for Excellence, an end of term report card might read “Tried hard, but can do better”.

Warmest thanks must now go to all the players, coaching and medical staff, committee members and supporters who have worked so hard throughout the season. We look forward to seeing you all again in season 2019/2020!

HJRFC 1XV

15Ciaran Callaghan Wing, Full Back
14James Griffith 18 Wing
13James Hamilton-Potter 19 Centre
12Scott Halliday Centre
11Ash Rajasooriya 13 Wing
10Rory Harte Fly-half
9Alex Gibbons Scrum-half
1Harry Perston Loosehead prop
2Preston McGoldrick Hooker
3Blair McKenzie 16 Tighthead prop
4Bill Kenny Lock
5Chris Warnock Lock
6Chris Crome 17 Flanker
7Hy Moncere Flanker
8Conor Ferguson No. 8
16Daryll Elvin 3 Tighthead prop
17James Acheson 6 Flanker
18James Maddox 14 Wing
19Callum Weir 13 Centre