ARDROSSAN ACADEMICALS RFC 12 points | HILLHEAD JORDANHILL RFC 18 points
THIS WAS A HARD, BUT FAIRLY CONTESTED, PHYSICAL GAME where all the hard yards were fiercely contested on a cold day at Memorial Field Ardrossan. This rare away win for Hills was built on a dominant scrummage which, for sixty five minutes until the injury sustained by hooker Harry Perston, gave their opposition no quarter. Indeed in a 15 minute spell before the end of the first half, Ardrossan conceded some seven scrummage penalties in their twenty two metre area which, on another day, might have resulted in the award of two penalty tries, but instead produced a yellow card for the opposition. Finally Hills had something to show for all their efforts when no. 8 and captain, Conor Ferguson, controlled the ball at the base of an advancing scrum to score. The Hills half time lead of only five points was a poor return for Hills scrummage frontal control, although some weakness on the touchline undermined total domination.
Ardrossan certainly had the quality in their half backs, Hunter and Lewis, and out wide to come back and hurt the Hills, but for once the visitors showed some reserves of resilience and maintained their pressing game. Tight head prop Nick McAuley should have scored in the corner from a close range charge but, after some phases of controlled recycling, Conor Ferguson scored his second try of the game. Finlay Keegan who, at this stage had taken over as replacement full back and goal kicker from the injured Angus Twaddle piloted the ball over the bar and the Hills were now twelve points up. Despite an injury to captain Conor Ferguson, Hills continued to enjoy front-foot dominance, and some astute kicking from Rory Harte allowed territorial pressure to be maintained. Two breakdown penalty chances allowed Finlay Keegan to slot six more points to take Hills eighteen points ahead with the visitors now looking comfortable in the final quarter.
But the cumulative effects of the attrition game had taken their toll on Hills original starting fifteen and their bench and, in a second half extended to some fifty minutes, Ardrossan played catch-up with two fine tries, one of which was converted. But time eventually ran out for the hosts and the battered but resilient visitors had triumphed and taken four valuable league points.
This was a fine result and an excellent afternoon’s work for the Hills players, physio Aoife O’Shea and their coaching team. This level of performance will require to be replicated next Saturday when the Hills entertain south Ayrshire visitors Carrick who are showing some better form after a very slow start to the season. The game kicks off at 14.00hrs at Hughenden on Saturday 16th November.