PERTHSHIRE RFC 14 points | HILLHEAD JORDANHILL RFC 34 points
HILLS TOOK THE HIGH ROAD to Perth to record their first away win of the season. This was a fine, resilient, battling team performance from Hills which revealed qualities some of their faithful support believed had vanished forever from the club. Hills were 7-0 down after 50 seconds which became 14-12 to the hosts after 20 minutes, but in the remaining 60 minutes of a well contested game at the North Inch, such was the visitors commitment to defence that the stuffy Perthshire side failed to add to their score.
The key components of the Hills win comprised of assured performances down the touchline from the returning Jonny Agnew (his first game in Hills colours since 2013) and from captain Conor Ferguson, and there was also an improved defensive performance in the midfield where Ciaran Callaghan was outstanding. Added to the aerial certainty was an aggressive rolling maul which provided the basis for three first half close range tries from Harry Perston, Jonny Agnew and James “Pine Tree” Reekie. The Hills’ backs also revealed their potency in attack with a well engineered try which started with Rory Harte looping his centres to creat the space for full back Angus Twaddle to burst clear from forty metres out in his run to the line. Twaddle converted two of the first half tries to see his side handily placed at 24-14 at the break.
Perthshire worked exceptionally hard to get back into the game and for most of the second half Hills were in defensive mode, but some copybook tackling in which no8 Calum McLeod excelled, and very effective use of his bench resources by head coach Graeme Blackhall kept the hosts at bay. Hills were always sharp on the counter attack and Perthshire struggled at times with the pace of some the quicksilver visiting backs. Angus Twaddle kicked a penalty goal to take his side further ahead and then in the 70th minute Scott Halliday touched down by the posts following up a kick through the home defence from Rory Harte. The conversion was a formality and Hills were now 20 points ahead. To their credit, Perthshire tried to the final whistle to add to their tally of two tries, but Hills remained resolute in defence of their line.
Hills now return to their Hughenden grounds on Saturday October 14 after the two away fixtures to play NL3 newcomers Berwick. Some 15 seasons ago Berwick were regular visitors to a very different-looking Hughenden and it will be good to renew our old rivalries. Kick off is 15:00.