Author: HillheadJordanhillRFC

COLLISION TIME AT FORT MATILDA SATURDAY JANUARY 25 2020

Disappointing Outcome at Fort Matilda

Greenock Wanderers RFC 33 points | Hillhead Jordanhill RFC 20 points

ALTHOUGH HILLS OPENED AND CLOSED THE SCORING on a heavy but eminently playable Fort Matilda playing surface, their opponents Greenock Wanderers, had too much power and pace throughout their squad to defeat their visitors by four goals and one try to one goal, two tries and one penalty goal. Hills therefore returned home pointless, and now out of contention for an NL3 promotion place, while their hosts league title hopes were rekindled.

Hills started well thanks to the power play of Nick McAuley at tight head prop and the rugby nous of half backs Rory Harte and Alex Gibbons. A good move on the blind side of a scrum from 30 metres out provided space for right-winger Ruairi Taylor to touch down in the corner. Wanderers however quickly regained the front foot and by the end of the first half had eased in to a 14 points to 8 lead. Hills early scrummage dominance had faded and the midfield contact areas were becoming hotly contested with almost professional rugby intensity. Hills struggled to maintain their intensity, apart from a Twaddle penalty goal, even when the Wanderers lost a man to the bin for an illegal body check.

The third quarter began with Hills having to recast their backline due to an Alex Gibbons head knock. Even though they continued to handle the ball well, line breaks were all too rare. Wanderers went further ahead after some poor defensive play from Hills who, despite this setback, responded with a fine right-to-left movement which saw Damien Genocchio take his try scoring opportunity well. Angus Twaddle converted brilliantly from the extreme left hand touchline and Hills were now only 21-15 down.

Unfortunately for Hills, the final fifteen minutes of the game saw the home team turn the screw and arm wrestle Hills out of the game. It was very poor work at the restart from Hills which let Greenock in for their fourth try and the fifth try followed soon after. To their credit, Hills rallied to put Greenock under much pressure in their own twenty two and, from an aggressive piece of mauling, a home player was red carded. A final onslaught on the home line forced a fine driven line out maul which saw Jonny Agnew scoring what turned out to be a consolation try.

Of Hills final eight league games, five are against the clubs immediately above them in the NL3 league table. Lasswade are first up this coming Saturday, February 1st, at Hughenden with a 14:00 hours KO.

Calum McLeod presentation, Saturday 18 January 2020 vs Perthshire

Hills Secure Emphatic Home Win Against Perthshire

Hillhead Jordanhill RFC 50 points | Perthshire RFC 8 points

IT TOOK HILLS APPROXIMATELY 15 MINUTES to emerge from their mid-winter hibernation in this league game – their last competitive match was December 7th – during which time Perthshire scored a fine try to take the lead. Perhaps that was the nudge the Hills squad required as, after that reverse, they totally dominated their plucky visitors to score a total of eight tries, three in the first half and five in the second with their irrepressible fullback, Angus Twaddle, converting five of these. The half time score was 19-8 and the fourth, bonus point try, was scored in the 43rd minute.

Hills much superior tight five gave their opposite numbers a day they would wish to forget, as they were continually driven back, at times several metres at each set scrum. There was no relief for the beleaguered visitors either when gargantuan tight head Nick McAuley and loosehead Darryl Elvin were replaced in the second half by the two solid Ulstermen, Adam Eakin and Ross Jackson. Both Hills second rowers, Jonny Agnew and Blair Colvin, were also in belligerent form, particularly in their ball carrying duties, where every hit was clearly felt by the opposition. The Hills backs therefore enjoyed shoals of possession.

Of the 8 tries scored, 3 were claimed by the forwards, two in the first half. Hooker Harry Perston crossed the line after a delightful piece of interplay involving stand off Rory Harte and left winger Ruairi Taylor, while the unstoppable Nick McAuley struck from 2 metres. Rory Harte’s first try was a classic piece of old-style rugby stand off wizardry. The no. 10 looped his outside centre to cut through the fragmented defence to touch down at the posts.

The fourth and bonus point try was another throwback to moves hardly seen in the modern game. Rory Harte, some 10 metres inside his own half, put up a towering up and under and such was its rapidly accelerating altitude that you immediately felt for the player who had to field it, as the ball was certain to have been covered in ice when it fell back to earth. Predictably the ball was fumbled and Hills centre Damien Genocchio (aka the Ginger Flash) was the beneficiary as he raced to the line to touch down. Hills other second half scorers were Scott Halliday with a hard direct run to the line, right winger Ross Robertson following a fine cross field passing move, Ruairi Taylor finishing off after a Rory Harte 60 metre dash to the line, and Blair Colvin crashing over from close range. After no side the Hills 1st XV squad and committee members gathered in an on field huddle to make a presentation to their dynamic, and sadly departing, openside flanker Calum McLeod, this being his last game for the club before he heads to a new life in Canada.

The HJ family would like to extend their very best wishes to Calum on his travels.

Hills now travel next Saturday (January 25th) to Fort Matilda to play Greenock Wanderers in a league game postponed from December 14th. Hills will wish to take Saturday’s form with them, as Greenock have enjoyed a very good season so far on their return to National League rugby. Kickoff is 14:00.

HJRFC 1XV

15Angus Twaddle Full Back
14Ruairi Taylor
13Scott Halliday Centre
12Damien Genocchio Wing
11Ross Robertson Wing
10Rory Harte 19 Centre
9Alex Gibbons Scrum Half
1Darryl Elvin 16
2Harry Perston Hooker
3Nick McAuley 17 Tighthead prop
4Jonny Agnew
5Blair Colvin Lock
6Conor Ferguson 18 No. 8
7Calum McLeod Flanker
8Olly Davidson Flanker
16Ross Jackson 1 Loosehead prop
17Adam Eakin 3
18Ciaran Stormonth 6
19Andy Scott 10
THE DEFENSIVE LINE v STRATHMORE DECEMBER 7 2019

Hills Lacklustre Opening Proves Fatal

Hillhead Jordanhill RFC 23 points | Strathmore RFC 26 points

ALTHOUGH STRATHMORE’S MARGIN OF VICTORY WAS SLENDER, and hence might beg the question as to how fortunate the visitors were in achieving their win, most home supporters would have said at the conclusion of the game that the Hills had their chances, but did not take them and Strathie deserved their five points from this National League fixture.

Hills downfall was a well below par opening 25 minutes when the victors’ hard and direct running proved too much for a somnolent home defence. Strathmore raced away to a 14 point lead and their territorial domination was interrupted only when standoff Rory Harte turned the tide with some magnificent kicking from hand. Home line breaks were few, but Finlay Keegan ran well from a deep defensive position to set up a series of rucks in the visitors twenty-two, and eventually space was provided for loose head prop Ross Jackson to cross the line and touch down. There was, however, no home momentum generated by this score, and it took Strathmore only 5 minutes to expose more weakness in the Hills defensive lines to add another converted try to leave them 21-5 up with half time approaching. Fortunately Hills then rallied and, from some welcome field domination, forced the visitors into some breakdown indiscretions, allowing Angus Twaddle to convert two penalty chances. But the halftime score of 21-11 in Strathmore’s favour somewhat flattered the Hills.

The second half opened much more promisingly for the Hills with the changes, particularly in the front row, having the desired impact. Good go-forward ball for Hills caused Strathmore to concede a few penalties, and that allowed the home pack to begin driving the line out maul. Hills first success resulted in the award of a penalty try when the visitors infringed at a driven maul close to the line. Scrummage pressure then produced the rarity of a tight head strike for hooker Harry Perston. The beneficiary of this was Hills scrum half Alex Gibbons who picked up the ball to sprint, unchallenged, to the corner for a fine try. Hills were now 23-21 ahead and the game had entered the final quarter.

Hills continued to enjoy territorial domination without ever threatening the visitors’ try line. A chance to kick a penalty goal from within the Strathmore twenty-two was refused in favour of a kick to touch for an attacking line out. Although the initial throw was won by captain Jonny Agnew, the ball was ultimately lost in the maul and Strathmore cleared the danger. To their credit, the visitors came back in the final 5 minutes of the game to pressurise the Hills. Strathmore missed an eminently kickable penalty but moments later scored between the posts with more hard and direct running being the key to their success. The pressure in the game was affecting everyone as the conversion barely rose above grass level. There were approximately two minutes of play left for Hills to clinch a victory, but despite some very efficient Hills recycling of possession, Strathmore were not to be denied and they held on to take five league points home with them, leaving Hills with only a consolation try bonus.

Next Saturday, December 14, Hills travel to Greenock to play the NL 3 leaders at Fort Matilda. Kick-off is 14:00.

ADAM AND HARRY v HOWE OF FIFE NOVEMBER 23 2019

Hills competitive at Howe but yellow cards costly

HOWE OF FIFE RFC 26 points | HILLHEAD JORDANHILL RFC 20 points

THE PRE-MATCH WARM-UP in this game on a drenched Duffus Park surface was costly for the Hills when Nick McAuley, their massive tight head prop, pulled up with a hamstring strain. Worse was to follow however when numbers on the field were reduced during the second half to only thirteen when two Hills players were sin-binned. Astonishingly, hosts Howe could not add to their score during this period but equally Hills, being shorthanded, were unable to stretch their opponents.

The poor playing conditions – wet and cold with a stiff breeze – were ideal for a traditional mud fest, but both sides tried at all times to play some decent rugby with Hills occasionally seeming to ignore the wet weather in opening out from unpromising situations. Howe were first to settle and, despite some valiant defence from the visitors, scored a  converted try after some five minutes of hammering at the Hills line. Some fine breakout running from inside centre Scott Halliday provided field position for Finlay Keegan to kick a penalty goal to open Hills’ account. But a defensive mix-up allowed Howe back into the game and, approaching half time, they looked comfortable with their 14- 3 lead. However Hills showed some of the resilience they have recently been displaying with a fine break from deep by Keegan which was taken on by the forwards. Two breakdowns later, stand-off Rory Harte floated out a bridge pass to left winger Damien Genocchio, who responded with an excellent well timed burst to touch down for try. The half time score of 14-8 to Howe was a fair refection of the 40 minutes play.

In the context of the game the next score was critical, but unfortunately it fell to Howe who profited from some sloppiness in the visitors defensive structures to score a converted try at Hills posts. The arithmetic was now such that Hills would require to score three second half tries to record a victory, but these calculations quickly went south when Howe added a fourth try. At 26-8 the game seemed over with Hills shorthanded and the ground becoming increasingly difficult to run on. But the Hills centre pairing of Halliday and Callaghan had other ideas, and with parity in numbers the visitors lifted their game. A fine break in the thirteen channel from Ciaran Callaghan created the field position for left winger Damien Genocchio to dart over for his second try which Finlay Keegan converted. Even though handicapped by having only three replacements, all the Hills players continued to work hard and, after a series of close range mauls, loosehead prop Darryl Elvin forced his way across the line to score. Hills were now only six points adrift and in the ascendancy, but time was not in their favour and the visitors had to settle for a losing bonus point.

This defeat brought to an end Hills impressive run of six undefeated games. It also was the conclusion of the first round of 11 games in national league 3 with the second round commencing in Edinburgh on Saturday the 30th November against Murrayfield Wanderers. The half-time report card shows six victories and a league position of sixth, some 11 points behind joint leaders Berwick and Greenock Wanderers. Hills play both of these clubs away in the second half of the programme, but have the advantage of some six home games. The gap is not insurmountable for Hills to bridge, but it will require considerable commitment during the winter months from the players in terms of availability and attendance at training. A reduction in the outbreaks of yellow fever during game time will also assist.

Details

Date Time League Season
November 23, 2019 2:00 pm Tennents National League Division 3 2019-20

Venue

Duffus Park

Results

TeamPointsOutcome
Howe of Fife RFC26Win
HJRFC 1XV20Loss

HJRFC 1XV

15Andrew Scott Full Back
14Finlay Keegan 18 Wing
13Scott Halliday Centre
12Ciaran Callaghan Centre
11Damien Genocchio Wing
10Rory Harte Fly-half
9Alex Gibbons Scrum Half
1Daryll Elvin Loosehead prop
2Harry Perston 16 Hooker
3Adam Eakin Tighthead prop
4James Reekie 17 Lock
5Jonny Agnew Lock
6Calum McLeod Flanker
7Olly Davidson Flanker
8Alec Cameron No. 8
16Preston McGoldrick 2 Hooker
17Blair Colvin 4 Lock
18Paul Kidd 14 Wing
ANGUS TWADDLE V CARRICK NOVEMBER 16 2019

Strong Finish Sees Hills Bring Home the Win

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.

HJRFC 1XV

15Angus Twaddle Full Back
14Ross Robertson 19 Wing
13Scott Halliday Centre
12Ciaran Callaghan Wing
11Finlay Keegan Wing
10Rory Harte Centre
9Paul Kidd Scrum-half
1Daryll Elvin Loosehead prop
2Preston McGoldrick 3 Flanker
3Nick McAuley 16 Tighthead prop
4James Reekie 17 Lock
5Robbie Thomson 18
6Calum McLeod Flanker
7Alec Cameron Lock
8Olly Davidson Flanker
16Ross Jackson 3 Loosehead prop
17Adam Eakin 4
18Blair Colvin 5 Lock
19Damien Gennochio 14 Wing
A HAPPY DRESSING ROOM v ARDROSSAN NOVEMBER 10 2019

Hills Resilience Wins At Memorial Field

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.

HJRFC 1XV

Angus Twaddle Full Back
Ross Robertson Wing
Scott Halliday Centre
Ciaran Callaghan Centre
Finlay Keegan Wing
Rory Harte Centre
Paul Kidd Scrum-half
Daryll Elvin Loosehead prop
Harry Perston Hooker
Nick McAuley Tighthead prop
James Reekie Lock
Jonny Agnew Lock
Calum McLeod Flanker
Olly Davidson Flanker
Conor Ferguson No. 8
Ross Jackson Loosehead prop
Robbie Thomson Lock
Callum Weir Centre
ROSS JACKSON v CAITHNESS NOVEMBER 2 2019

Hills Record Fine Win Against Caithness

HILLHEAD JORDANHILL RFC 69 points | CAITHNESS RFC 7 points

SOME OF THE STATS FROM THIS GAME – Hills 28-0 up after 15 mins and then 40-0 at half time – suggest a very one sided outing against the far travelled Caithness XV, but it was not all one way traffic as the final score might suggest. There were periods in the game, particularly the second and third quarters, when Caithness retained possession and made matters difficult for the home side. Ultimately however, all that Caithness could muster was the one penalty try, awarded late in the game for a Hills infringement, resulting in a yellow card. The fact Caithness had such a limited return can be attributed to some excellent defence from all the Hills players.

For the records, the first half try scorers were open side wing forward, Calum McLeod from a forward drive, left-winger Finlay Keegan who twice finished well (once from a Rory Harte chip ahead and then a “bridge pass”), scrum half Alex Gibbons who touched down after some excellent inter-passing between the backs and forwards, Angus Twaddle who scorched into the line from his full back position to touch down, and then captain and no.8 Conor Ferguson, who drove over from close range. Hills’ full back Angus Twaddle had clearly brought along his kicking boots, as he converted five of the six tries, three of which were from very tight touchline positions.

Tries were harder to come by in the second half, but when they came along they were all very well taken by the Hills backs. First to register was right winger Damien Gennochio, who finished well in the right hand corner. The next try was a brilliant solo effort from stand-off Rory Harte who ran in unopposed from his own half, dancing and weaving his way through most of the opposition. Inside centre Scott Halliday then ensured his name would appear on the score sheet with a well timed pick and drive for the line. Angus Twaddle then applied the finishing touch by backing up a move involving his backs to add to his first half try. Last to add his name to the try tally was Ciaran Callachan, who ran hard from the visitors twenty two. Of the five second half tries, Twaddle was successful with two conversions.

This was a fine result and a good afternoon’s work for the Hills players and their coaching team. The benefits of being able to field a settled side are beginning to be realised in more efficient first phase possession, both on the touchline and in the set scrum where the Hills pack were dominant for all the game. This level of performance will require to be replicated next Saturday when the Hills make the short journey to Ardrossan, who have enjoyed a better start to the season than their visitors. The game kicks off at 14:00hrs at Memorial Field.

HJRFC 1XV

15Angus Twaddle Full Back
14Damien Gennochio Wing
13Scott Halliday 19 Centre
12Ciaran Callaghan Centre
11Finlay Keegan Wing
10Rory Harte Fly-half
9Alex Gibbons Scrum Half
1Daryll Elvin 16 Loosehead prop
2Harry Perston Hooker
3Nick McAuley 17 Tighthead prop
4James Reekie Lock
5Alec Cameron 18 Lock
6Calum McLeod Flanker
7Olly Davidson Flanker
8Conor Ferguson No. 8
16Ross Jackson 1
17Adam Eakin 3
18Jonny Agnew 5 Lock
19Callum Weir 13 Centre
HILLS PREPARE TO SCRUM v WEST OCTOBER 19 2019

Hills Triumph at Burnbrae

WEST OF SCOTLAND FC 12 points | HILLHEAD JORDANHILL RFC 24 points

APART FROM AN EARLY FLOURISH when the Hills should have kicked a close range penalty goal and right winger Graham Davidson might have scored in the corner at Burnbrae, there was little excitement to disturb the after dinner nap of those Hills supporters who attended the pre-match lunch. Certainly there was some animation in discussing the clubhouse evacuation following a fire alarm at the end of the lunch, but apart from the fine footballing and harrying skills of scrum half Alex Gibbons, play had been largely uneventful. Half time came and went with the score stuck firmly at 0-0.

But West were first to emerge from the torpor which hung over this game when they scored and converted a fine try, but this served only to stir the visitors out of their collective trance. Some fine lead up play from Calum “Duracell” McLeod forced a breakdown penalty and Angus Twaddle, with his first goal kick of the day, converted from some 35 metres. Better was to follow when after some textbook forward driving play close to the host’s goal line, super sub Nick “DJ Veggie” McAuley crossed for a try which full back Twaddle converted. Then stand off Rory Harte, who up until that point had had a mixed game, showed good footwork to score from close range with Twaddle again converting for full points. West then reminded their support that they could play a bit as well. After some concentrated attacks with both backs and forwards prominent, they broke through a previously tight  Hills defence to touch down for their second try of the afternoon. With the score now 17-12 for the visitors the next score would be critical to the overall outcome of the game, and fortunately it fell to Hills. The longer the game progressed, the more Hills midfield began to get the better of their opposite numbers, and from a fine break down the 13 channel, Ciaran Callaghan crossed the line, taking two defenders with him. Angus Twaddle’s fourth successful kick of the afternoon brought the scoring on the day to an end. There was still time for Hills to cement a try bonus point and West to get closer to their visitors and a losing bonus point, but the first half stalemate returned and the game played out with no further alarms

Hills now have a gap in their schedule as there is no game on the 26th due to round 2 of the National Cup occupying that date. The National League 3 programme resumes on Saturday November 2 when Caithness make the long journey down the A9 to Hughenden.

All players and supporters are asked to note that the November – January kick-off times have now moved back to 14.00 hours.

HJRFC 1XV

Angus Twaddle Full Back
Graham Davidson Wing
Scott Halliday Centre
Ciaran Callaghan Centre
Finlay Keegan Wing
Rory Harte Fly-half
Alex Gibbons Scrum-half
Daryll Elvin Loosehead prop
Harry Perston Hooker
Ross Jackson Tighthead prop
James Reekie Lock
Alec Cameron Lock
Calum McLeod Flanker
Olly Davidson Flanker
Conor Ferguson No. 8
Adam Eakin
Nick McAuley
Ross Robertson Wing
Robbie Thomson Flanker
RORY HARTE SETS UP A NEW ATTACK

Honours Even as Yellow Fever Resurfaces at Hughenden

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.

HJRFC 1XV

15Angus Twaddle Full Back
14Graham Davidson Wing
13Scott Halliday Centre
12Ciaran Callaghan Centre
11Finlay Keegan 19 Wing
10Rory Harte Fly-half
9Alex Gibbons Scrum-half
1Daryll Elvin 16 Loosehead prop
2Harry Perston Hooker
3Ross Jackson 17 Tighthead prop
4James Reekie 18 Lock
5Blair Colvin Lock
6Calum McLeod Flanker
7Olly Davidson Flanker
8Conor Ferguson No. 8
16Adam Eakin 1
17Nick McAuley 3
18Robbie Thomson 4 Lock
19Ross Robertson 11 Wing
Studied discipline from Alex Gibbons

Hills travel miles north to win at North Inch

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.