HILLHEAD JORDANHILL 1st XV 32 pts | Murrayfield Wanderers RFC 15 pts
ON A PERFECTLY STILL DAY stolen from the height of midsummer, Hills overturned a 5 points to 7 half time deficit to eventually defeat a dogged Murrayfield Wanderers side by 32 points to 15 to secure a bonus point win in the opening league game of season 2019/2020.
The victory was based on sound defence and a willingness to run the ball from anywhere in the field. Hills were given a good lead by both the defensive and attacking skills of their back row in which Calum McLeod excelled in attack along with Conor Ferguson, while Olly Davidson was a very effective ball carrier in the loose. The physical strengths of the visitors pack foundered on the static strength of Hills tight head Nick McAuley, but the hosts were second best on the touchline despite the best efforts of Blair Colvin and captain Conor Ferguson.
There was little between the sides in the first half with Angus Twaddle touching down in the corner and Murrayfield coming back by means of an interception in the Hills twenty two. After the break, Angus Twaddle eased his side ahead with a penalty goal and Hills then looked to take the upper hand with the catalyst being stand-off Rory Harte’s mercurial skills and in particular his side step. He literally led the visitors’ defence a dance, and no- one could put a hand on him. Somewhat unusually for the modern game, the Hills stand-off scored three tries, each of which fullback Angus Twaddle converted. The fullback added a penalty goal to his tally, but Murrayfield could add only a try and penalty goal to their half-time scores.
Hills then ran out winners from this absorbing contest and, by virtue of their four tries, added a bonus point to their four points win. Hills kept going well in what were enervating conditions for the first match of the season, and they will need to maintain their fitness reserves in what will be a long and occasionally unforgiving season of travel.
Next Saturday 14th September, Hills travel to Forfar for their first ever fixture with the newly promoted Strathmore side, KO 15:00.