Hillhead Jordanhill RFC 36 points | Carrick RFC 7 points
THE FINAL SCORELINE IN THIS NATIONAL LEAGUE 3 FIXTURE might suggest a rather one-sided game, but the reality was much different. Carrick were tough opponents who gave little quarter in the set piece contests, with Hills only coming through in the final twenty minutes to secure both the win and a four try bonus point.
The first half found Hills mostly on the attack, but with little in the way of scoreboard action to show for their territorial domination. It took a Robbie Thomson steal of a Carrick lineout to spark the team into action. Scrum half Paul Kidd somehow found left winger Finlay Keegan as first receiver and he looked up, saw some gaps in the visitors’ defence, and ran powerfully into the Carrick half being halted only very close to the try line. Some determined recycling created sufficient space on the blind side of the breakdown for Ross Robertson to score Hills first try. Fullback Angus Twaddle added the extras with a fine conversion from the right-hand touchline. Despite this early pressure, the Carrick defence stood firm for the rest of the half and Hills had to settle for an Angus Twaddle penalty goal to take them to a ten point margin at half time.
The first ten minutes of the second half continued to be attritional with neither side seemingly able to wrest the advantage. The game was calling out for a spark of magic to break the deadlock, and it was supplied by Hills very own Merlin, stand-off Rory Harte. He took a quick tap penalty from just inside his own half and proceeded to weave his way through the ranks of the visitors’ defence to touch down for a magnificent solo try between the sticks. Keegan kicked the conversion and this score seemed to revitalise the Hills while deflating Carrick. The hard-working no 8, Olly Davidson, drove over well from a close range breakdown with Angus Twaddle converting again, this time from a tight left-hand side touchline position. The prospect of a fourth try and hence a bonus point seemed to induce some form of white-line-fever in the home ranks, and they wasted at least three try-scoring opportunities until Ciaran Callaghan showed the way with a fine angled run to the line. Angus Twaddle again converted and Hills were now 31 points up with only 5 minutes left.
Carrick, to their credit, kept going and on a rare visit to the Hills twenty two profited from some sloppy defensive work from the home side to score a try which they converted. This lapse of concentration spurred Hills into one final attack on the visitor’s line and second rower, Robbie Thomson, scored his first National League try from close range. This brought an end to the scoring and the game with Hills eventually pulling away from their very competitive and stuffy visitors with a winning 36-7 margin.
With Hills now starting to show some improvements in form, they can travel to Cupar for their next National League game on Saturday the 23rd November with some confidence. Their opponents, Howe of Fife, have however enjoyed a much better start to this season than the Hills, and at one stage headed the table. The fixture promises therefore to be a very close one. The game kicks off at 14:00hrs and travelling support will be made very welcome. PLEASE NOTE: The team bus leaves at 10:30 from outside the Western Tennis Club.