HILLHEAD JORDANHILL RFC 28 points | BERWICK RFC 28 points
BY VIRTUE OF THE FOUR TRIES THEY SCORED in this exciting match, Hills were able to take 3 points from this drawn National League match at Hughenden, while visitors Berwick with their three tries returned home with two.
Hitting down the slope in the first half, the hosts were quickly into action and by the end of the first quarter were 15 points up. After 5 minutes, scrum-half Alex Gibbons took a quick tap penalty some 30 metres out, stand-off Rory Harte threw out a longish bridge pass to right winger Graham Davidson who made good ground to feed Alex Gibbons on his outside. The scrum-half scored well in the right hand corner and full back Angus Twaddle converted with a fine kick from the tee. The fullback added a further 3 points with a penalty goal from almost the same position as his successful conversion. Some 5 mins later, stand-off Rory Harte did well to hold up an attacking maul to prevent Berwick winning it. From the resultant scrum, Hills moved the ball wide and Angus Twaddle launched a foray downfield to make the extra man and then created space for Graham Davidson to run in virtually unchallenged.
Although the conversion was missed, confidence was high in the home support and players, but then Berwick began to find their bearings and began to make much of their first receivers efforts in breaking Hills defensive resilience. The visitors began to spread their play, and it was only a last ditch tap tackle from winger Finlay Keegan which kept Berwick from crossing the whitewash. Hills, however, buckled just before half time when Berwick scored a converted try. Despite conceding, Hills came back well to threaten the visitors’ line, but poor distribution in a 2-on-1 situation frustrated the hosts. The first half closed on a 15-7 scoreline for the Hills.
From the start of the second half, Berwick began to step up their work rate but the first 10 minutes saw just an exchange of penalty goals from the sides. But Hills share of first phase scrum and lineout was secure and half backs Gibbons and Harte began to probe for gaps. The first fell for left winger Finlay Keegan, who found himself in some space 50 metres from the line with two defenders in his way. With a classic piece of winger trickery, feint and swerve, he outwitted his opposite numbers to score a fine individual try. Hills final try was created by good ball carrying by Olly Davidson which Nick McAuley translated into a try scoring run for Conor Ferguson with a wonderful “Toony Flip”.
Hills were now 28-13 up and playing into the final quarter. At that stage, most of the crowd had their sights on a win for the Hills, but the self destruct button, which is part of the current Hills armoury, began to be pressed frantically and Rory Harte and then James Reekie were separately invited to spend some time in the cooler. 15 against 13 is an unequal contest and Berwick wasted no time in pressing home their advantage to take the score to 28 all with five minutes left. Although Hills were restored numerically, all the structure of their play had been lost, and every remaining refereeing decision was closely scrutinised and disputed by both sets of supporters. There were, however, no further scores, but plenty of controversy to fuel animated discussions well after the sounding of the final whistle.
Hills now travel for their North Glasgow derby to Burnbrae, home of West of Scotland FC, on Saturday October 21. Hills will be hoping their improved form and confidence will travel well with them. Kick is at 15:00.