Berwick RFC 36 points | Hillhead Jordanhill RFC 5 points
WHILE STORM DENNIS was a factor in Hills defeat at Scremerston – the home team played the tricky conditions much more assuredly than did the visitors – the opening quarter of the match was their undoing when they conceded 17 points without reply, one of the Berwick scores being a penalty try.
Playing catch-up rugby when the game is being dominated by your opponents pick and go techniques is not easy, but Hills finally awoke from their opening reverie in the second quarter to put together some quality driving and wet weather play of their own. Inside centre, Scott Halliday, had a fine game, constantly committing the home defence to set up numerous go forward situations. From one of his half breaks, the Hills forwards with Blair Colvin in the van, rumbled on with some excellent phases of recycling until stand-off Rory Harte released his outside backs with the try line threatening. Fast hands, helped by an intrusion from Andrew Scott at full back, provided just enough space for Damien Genocchio to squeeze in by the left hand corner for a well deserved try. However, Berwick hit back to take the score at half time to 24-5 in their favour.
In the second half, Hills competed well in most phases of play, apart from the line out, which given the conditions was a lottery for the whole game, with the visitors living off scraps. As the game wore on, the superior physicality of the Berwick players cemented their hold on the game, despite Hills tenacity and spirit. Berwick added two further tries to record a deserved five point win.
Hills will recognise the youthful nature of their squad when competing with more mature and experienced clubs Like Berwick. They should reflect, however, on the need to play from the first whistle, and not when they are trailing by three tries. Additionally better discipline when in adversity would assist, as losing two players to the bin was unhelpful in the context of the game.
Hills now travel again, next Saturday February 22nd, to Edinburgh to play Murrayfield Wanderers in a league game postponed from November 30th. At present, neither the venue nor kick off time can be confirmed as Murrayfield are experiencing pitch problems at their grounds in Roseburn Gardens behind BT Murrayfield. Please check Facebook pages for updates.