HJRFC 1st XV 14 pts | GHK 1st XV 38 pts
DESPITE ALL THE RECENT DELUGES, the playing surface at Hughenden was in excellent order for this west end derby in the preliminary round of the National Cup. Playing with the breeze and up the slope in the first half, Hills competed well, reaching the interval only one score behind at 14 -19. But GHK bossed the second half to run out convincing winners 38 -14, although Hills handicapped themselves by having both Blair Colvin and Rory Harte in the sin bin.
The first competitive game of season 2019-20 was notable for the return of two Hughenden favourites, the mercurial Angus Twaddle at full back and the gargantuan Nick McAuley at tight-head prop. Both franked their performances with influential roles in Hills first points. Alex Gibbons at scrum half harried well to pounce on loose ball, Rory Harte threw out a massive miss pass which McAuley gobbled up to barrel over the line. Angus Twaddle converted brilliantly from tight on the left hand touchline and the Hills were 7 points up. But GHK were stung into action and came back strongly to lead by 12 points to 7 after 30 minutes. Then some Rory Harte magic opened up the game with a clever kick into open space which Graham Davidson played football with to dribble across the line and score. Angus Twaddle converted to take “Hills” 2 points ahead but GHK hit back with a fine converted try just on the break.
The second half was tough going for the Hills even with a full complement on the field. The hosts defended well however, being seen only rarely in attack, but frailty again on the touchline mitigated against some promising field positions.
This was a well contested game against a side from a higher league, and the additional match fitness gained should help Hills when they play their opening National 3 league game vs Murrayfield Wanderers at Hughenden on Saturday 7th September with a 15:00 KO. We hope to see you there.