Category: Men’s 1st XV News

What happens on Friday nights..

Last Saturday was tough to take, but here is a reason to rejoice:  TARTAN TOUCH resumes at Hughenden this Friday 6.30pm!
Very casual, really fun, open to all level, new bees to Rugby warriors

All details: Tartan Touch

#hjrfc, #tartantouch

HJRFC AGM 2019

HJRFC’s AGM will be held at 7.00pm on Tuesday 7th May 2019 at Hillhead Sports Club

Nominations are requested for those wishing to be officiate in leading roles in the Committee. In particular nominations are being sought for the positions of President, Treasurer and Secretary. Nominations should be sent to the Club Secretary, Hunter Kirkpatrick by email to h.kirkpatrick@armour.co.uk no later than Tuesday 30th April.

 

LINE OUT ACTION AT MEMORIAL FIELD APRIL 2019

Season finale lacks sparkle at Memorial Field

Ardrossan Academicals 42 points | Hillhead Jordanhill 14 points

AT THE END OF THE FIRST QUARTER of their final league game of the 2018/2019 season at Ardrossan’s Memorial Field, Hills seemed to be comfortable at fourteen points all with their Ayrshire rivals. They had opened the scoring through a close range drive from Chris Warnock, Hills’ best player on the day by the proverbial Irish country mile, and a second score added by Rory Harte with a characteristic Strictly Come Dancing-style soft-shoe shuffle which dazzled the home defence. Harte converted both but his second conversion brought an abrupt end to Hills efforts in troubling the scoreboard. In the second quarter of the game, Ardrossan simply blew Hills away with some wonderful forwards and backs interpassing which left the visitors shell shocked and unable, apart from a brief Jimmy Griffith charge, to stop the home sides incessant attacks. Certainly Hills contributed to their own downfall with some woeful work on the touch lines which led directly to two of the hosts three tries. At half time, Ardrossan had moved to a commanding try bonus position of thirty five points to fourteen ahead with all five of their tries being converted by their fly-half Lewis.

The second half showed a small-but-welcome improvement in Hills’ fortunes with their defence tightening up and performing more coherently to restrict Ardrossan to only one further score. Scott Halliday ran well in the centre and back row sub James Acheson had two good runs in broken play which should have led to Hills being able to peg back their hosts, but the necessary support was not available. Hills were frustrated all afternoon in dealing with Ardrossan’s rush defence and their hosts certainly protected their first phase ball much better than their opponents did.

After well deserved home victories against Caithness and Orkney, the defeats at Murrayfield and Ardrossan meant that the end of season building of momentum was less than hoped going into season 2019/2020. That being said, those strong home performances saved Hills’ national league status for 2019/2020.

In the age of Curriculum for Excellence, an end of term report card might read “Tried hard, but can do better”.

Warmest thanks must now go to all the players, coaching and medical staff, committee members and supporters who have worked so hard throughout the season. We look forward to seeing you all again in season 2019/2020!

HJRFC 1XV

# Player Position YC RC T C P DG
15Ciaran CallaghanWing, Full Back  0000
14James Griffith 18Wing  0000
13James Hamilton-Potter 19Centre  0000
12Scott HallidayCentre  0000
11Ash Rajasooriya 13Wing  0000
10Rory HarteFly-half  1200
9Alex GibbonsScrum-half  0000
1Harry PerstonLoosehead prop  0000
2Preston McGoldrickHooker  0000
3Blair McKenzie 16Tighthead prop  0000
4Bill KennyLock  0000
5Chris WarnockLock  1000
6Chris Crome 17Flanker  0000
7Hy MoncereFlanker  0000
8Conor FergusonNo. 8  0000
16Daryll Elvin 3Tighthead prop  0000
17James Acheson 6Flanker  0000
18James Maddox 14Wing  0000
19Callum Weir 13Centre  0000

Hills end-of-season revival continues

Hillhead Jordanhill 31 points | Orkney 12 points

ON A FINE SPRING MORNING, watched by a sizeable crowd of former players attending the 30th anniversary lunch, Hills end of season revival continued in their defeat of a spirited Orkney side by three goals and two tries to one goal and one try. Hills excelled in the first half with their willingness to play an open game, playing up the slope to the clubhouse end. Although Orkney enjoyed scrum domination in the first forty minutes, they were unable to stitch together many periods of continuity play such was the commitment and first time tackling of the Hills midfield and fringe defences. Scrum half Alex Gibbons was the catalyst for Hills first score when he stole Orkney ball at the base of a scrum to initiate a long range attack with the ball being handed well by the three quarters to take play into the Orkney twenty two. Open side Scott McMiillan then drove on, offloading to no. 8 Conor Ferguson who then expertly fed inside for rampaging second row Chris Warnock to crash over the line unopposed. Rory Harte’s conversion rattled the post, but the Hills were up and running. Their second try was not long delayed and Rory Harte was the prime mover here, first of all feeding the insatiable Chris Warnock who made a large dent in the Orkney defensive line. Quick repossession from the ruck allowed Rory space on the blind side to float a long pass to unmarked right winger Ash Rajasooriya to score in the corner. Rory Harte added the goal points with a fine conversion across the face of the posts. Some slack play from the Hills pack in their own half then allowed Orkney into the game and they scored a rather easy try to the left of the posts but missed the conversion. This stung the Hills back into action and several sweeping movements up the slope with Preston “Mighty Atom” McGoldrick, Craig Colvin and the ubiquitous Chris Warnock all influential allowed Scott Halliday sufficient room to squeeze over the in the left hand corner to score. On the balance of play, the half time score of seventeen points to five was fair.

Any hopes that Orkney harboured of narrowing the gap between the sides quickly evaporated at the start of the second half. An intense Hills attack in the visitors’ twenty two with “The Mighty Atom” and Scott McMillan prominent produced some desperate defensive work from Orkney. A clearance kick was charged down by the alert Rory Harte who picked up the loose ball to score and then convert his own try. Hills now had their four try bonus point, but they continued to chase hard for more points. Once again quick distribution stretched the visitors defence but Jonny Hamilton-Potter still had some work to do before he could touch down for his side’s fifth and final try of the game. Rory Harte added goal points to take his side to thirty one points to seven ahead with the game entering the final quarter. Orkney however remained determined to make some mark on the game and finally found some form to put together some pleasing phases of continuity play to pressurise the home defence. Hills did not help their cause with two players being sent to the bin, but although Orkney added a try which they converted, the Hills were out of sight and the game finished with referee Greg Cameron’s whistle blowing up with a score of thirty one points to twelve in their favour.

This was a much happier Hills performance than those served up during the bleak midwinter months when nothing seemed to go right. Now the 1st XV squad and their coaches, Dean Kelbrick and Graham Blackhall, can look forward with some confidence to the final two games of the 2018/2019 season, both away. On the 30th March the 1st XV play Murrayfield Wanderers at Roseburn Gardens while on the 6th April they play at Memorial Field against old rivals, Ardrossan Accies.

HJRFC 1XV

# Player Position YC RC T C P DG
15Craig ColvinFull Back  0000
14Ash Rajasooriya 19Wing  0000
13Scott HallidayCentre  0000
12Damien GenocchioCentre  0000
11James Hamilton-Potter 18Wing  0000
10Rory Harte 11Fly-half  0000
9Alex GibbonsScrum-half  0000
1Adam EakinProp  0000
2Preston McGoldrick 16Hooker  0000
3Martyn Low 17Prop  0000
4Chris WarnockLock  0000
5Bill KennyLock  0000
6Conor FergusonFlanker  0000
7Scott McMillanFlanker  0000
8Hy MoncereFlanker  0000
16Harry Perston 2Hooker  0000
17Mylo Connell 3Prop  0000
18Hugo Gesta 10Fly-half  0000
19James Griffith 14Wing  0000

Hills take five valuable points

Hillhead Jordanhill 33 points | Caithness 6 points

IN A MUST-WIN GAME for the home team, Hills responded to poor weather conditions and a stuffy visiting Caithness side to record a fine thirty-three points to six victory and thereby secure five valuable league points in their quest to maintain national league rugby status at Hughenden. The first half found Hills playing up the slope and they were quickly into their stride with captain and full back Craig Colvin showing the way with some excellent broken play running. Bill “The Ballyclare Bruiser” Kenny drove play into the visitors twenty-two where, after three quick recycling activities, Captain Colvin crossed for the opening try with right winger Rory Harte converting.

The dynamic opening, combining hard running with ball in hand and quick repossession from the breakdown, was a prominent feature of Hills play for most of the opening forty minutes and little scope was available to Caithness to counter-attack. When they did, Hills’ first up tackling, particularly around the fringes of the breakdown, was imperious with Alec Cameron the chief defensive enforcer. Scott Halliday added a second close-range try with Rory Harte converting and the mercurial right winger added a third when he ghosted through an all-but-invisible gap in the Caithness defence to score between the posts. The conversion was a formality and Hills were twenty-one points up and seemingly cruising, but Caithness, in a very rare excursion to the Hills’ danger area, opened their score with a well-struck penalty goal on the stroke of half time.

The third quarter saw Hills lose two players to the bin and subsequently assume a siege mentality to keep the visitors out. Once again Hills defended wilfully, but Caithness kicked another penalty goal and tensions began to mount on the field and among the animated home support. The return to a full complement and a change in the shape of the midfield engineered by deputy coach Douglas Grove restored equilibrium. Rory Harte took over the pivotal role at 10 and Jonny Hamilton-Potter added direction to the HIlls attack. The fourth try relied exclusively on Rory Harte’s field craft. An attacking play took the game into the Caithness twenty two when the stand-off looked up, saw a gap in the visitors cover, chipped ahead into the space and beat the defenders to the touch down. His magnificent conversion, across the face of the wind from the right hand touch line, was an impressive further contribution to his personal triumph. Hills then saw out the rest of the final quarter in some degree of comfort. Caithness were by now visibly tiring, and Hills held on to the ball well. Some excellent box kicking from scrum half Alex Gibbons kept the visitors in their twenty-two and from a series of rucks in which replacement Moncere was prominent, Gibbons scored the teams fifth try in the corner.

This game produced the first four try bonus point for Hills since the 16th November, some seven national league fixtures ago. Hills winter of discontent is, however, far from over. Three games remain and the situation is so tight at the foot of NL3 (three clubs are relegated) that two of these three games carry the same significance as this in being must-win fixtures. Hills next game is against ARDROSSAN ACADEMICALS at Memorial Field, Ardrossan, on the 16th March with a 14.00 KO.

Hills 1st XV

15 Craig Colvin (C)

14 Rory Harte (Ash Rajasooriya)

13 Scott Halliday

12 Damien Gennochio (James Hamilton-Potter)

11 Albain De Chaille (Damien Gennochio)

10 Hugo Gesta (Rory Harte)

9 Alex Gibbons

1 Adam Eakin

2 Harry Perston

3 Martyn Low (Mylo Connell)

4 Alec Cameron (Hy Moncere)

5 Bill Kenny

6 Conor Ferguson

7 Scott McMillan

8 Preston McGoldrick

(Subs all used)

HJRFC v West of Scotland 18th Jan 2019

Hills’ struggle to kick-start 2019 continues with West reverse

Hillhead Jordanhill 7 points | West of Scotland 61 points

THIS WAS NOT A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE for either the players or supporters of Hillhead Jordanhill RFC. Three Hills players received head knocks forcing their retirement from the game and one of these, right winger Ash Rajasooriya, required hospitalisation. Happily he was discharged at 18.00 on Saturday evening from hospital but, like his two other colleagues, he is now subject to return to play protocols. Even allowing for all the disruptions to the Hills, local visitors West were stronger in most facets of the game with the only area where Hills achieved any parity being on the touchlines, where lock James Acheson and back-row Conor Ferguson retained all their own ball. West seemed to be able to employ higher gears to spread the play and always seemed able to put men into space on the outside channels which Hills could not cope with.

In a very one-sided first half, West raced to a 34 points lead scoring six tries, one a penalty try, before Rory Harte with a wonderful sense of timing intercepted another West attack to race eighty metres unchallenged to score. A half time margin of 34-7 in favour of West was, frustratingly for Hills, a fair refection of the flow of the game.

In the second half, Hills showed much more spirit with second rower Bill Kenny at the heart of most of the attacking plays. Some continuity of phases was put together but the West defence held firm. It was left to James Hamilton-Potter to show the way across the gain line but his two fine breaks fizzled out due to lack of support. Certainly West had to work a bit harder for their second half tries, but only a myopic Hills supporter could deny the visitors their success in finishing sixty one points to seven ahead.

It is to be hoped that there will be a huge turnaround collectively for the next league game against PERTHSHIRE at the NORTH INCH on SATURDAY 26th JANUARY. Hills are now edging uncomfortably close to the basement trap door to Regional Rugby, which a win next week would help the team avoid.

HJRFC 1XV

# Player Position YC RC T C P DG
15Craig ColvinFull Back  0000
14Ash Rajasooriya 19Wing  0000
13Scott HallidayCentre  0000
12James Hamilton-PotterCentre  0000
11Rory HarteWing  0000
10Hugo GestaFly-half  0000
9Alex GibbonsScrum-half  0000
1Daryll Elvin 17Loosehead prop  0000
2Preston McGoldrick 16Hooker  0000
3Martyn LowTighthead prop  0000
4James AchesonLock  0000
5Bill KennyLock  0000
6Conor FergusonFlanker  0000
8Alec CameronNo. 8  0000
7David Vallance 18Flanker  0000
16Harry Perston 2Hooker  0000
17Adam Eakin 1Prop  0000
18Fergus Denton 7Flanker  0000
19Ciaran Callaghan 14Wing  0000

No shiny start to 2019

Newton Stewart 53 points | Hillhead Jordanhill 7 points

AS FIRST FOOTS in the rural fastness of Bladnoch in Galloway, Hills made little impression on a lively Newton Stewart side in this rearranged National League 3 league game. A half time deficit of twenty four points was exacerbated by a further concession of scores in the second period of play with the visitors conceding nine tries in total in the game. The solitary counter for Hills came from a well worked miss move involving stand off Ewen Brown and centre, Rory Harte, which resulted in Brown scoring and then converting his own try. That took the score to 36 points to 7 in favour of the ‘Sons’. Any hope of a resurgence for the Hills was dashed however, and Newton returned to their fast counter attacking game in the loose to which the visitors had no answer.

Hills play in general matched the grey, cold day in Galloway with only a few bright spots. The scrummage was sound and in fact pushed the Newton pack around, but little could be made of what go forward ball was delivered. Scott McMillan played well as an emergency centre and Craig Colvin tackled well at the back, while Chris Crome was whole hearted in his efforts. Collectively, however, Hills chose the first start in 2019 to produce a well below par performance.

It is to be hoped that there will be a huge turnaround collectively for the next league game against GORDONIANS in ABERDEEN when they visit Counteswells on SATURDAY 12th JANUARY.

HJRFC 1XV

# Player Position YC RC T C P DG
15Craig ColvinFull Back  0000
14Ash RajasooriyaWing  0000
13Rory HarteCentre  0000
12Scott McMillanCentre  0000
11Tiam SahaireWing  0000
10Euan BrownFly-half  0000
9Andy BlairScrum-half  0000
1Ross JacksonLoosehead prop  0000
2Harry PerstonHooker  0000
3Daryll ElvinTighthead prop  0000
4Blair McKenzie 16Lock  0000
5Alec CameronLock  0000
6Bill KennyFlanker  0000
8Conor FergusonNo. 8  0000
7James AchesonFlanker  0000
16Chris Crome 4Lock  0000

Report & Picture: BBM

HJRFC v Haddington - 8th Dec 2018

Hills come good in the final against a game Haddington

Hillhead Jordanhill 24 points | Haddington 10 points

THIS GAME CAME TO LIFE for the home side and players only in the final quarter. at which time a plucky Haddington side had neutralised all that the Hills had thrown at them and had taken a ten points to three lead. The first forty minutes were played in continuous heavy rain and a penalty goal aside was all that troubled the scoreboard operator. Mistakes were aplenty with the greasy ball, but Hills should have made more of quality ball provided by second rower Chris Warnock, which made frequent inroads through the opposition ranks. But quick ball from the breakdown was as elusive as the sight of any of Santa’s reindeer on the adjacent Great Western Road, and the momentum was lost.

The visitors enjoyed a good third quarter when they monopolised all the close quarter ball in Hills half, and deservedly scored a try through their player/coach Kieran Cooney which was converted by their full back Alec Ferguson. Hills were beginning to look ragged and devoid of ideas as to how to break down the visitors defence when serendipity played a key part in the proceedings. The Haddington inside centre suffered a bad knee injury which necessitated his being stretchered off the field. Immediately from the restart scrum Hills no. 12 Johnny Hamilton-Potter scuttled through a gap in the visitors’ defence, straightened his line of running and went in unopposed beneath the posts for a fine individual try. Stand-off Euan Brown converted and, all of a sudden, Hills body language improved. Some sixty seconds later, a speculative kick ahead from Hills flying left winger Ciaran Callaghan was missed at the back by Haddington and back row sub Alec Cameron dribbled the loose ball to the line. Unfortunately in his enthusiasm to score he ran into the post, but the quick thinking Rory Harte pounced to secure the try. Fortunately, Alec Cameron appeared to be none the worse for his impact; the post was also undamaged. Euan Brown kicked the conversion and Hills had now nudged ahead.

The next and final score was a belter, and it was all down to the running speed and determination of the home stand–off, Euan Brown. He ran diagonally to the left wing from his own ten metre line, chipped the opposition and then hacked and chased to the line for a try which had come from nowhere. He himself converted from the left touchline and the score had reached twenty four points to ten, the home XV having added twenty one unanswered points in ten minutes of play. The final five minutes were played out with midfield mauling, which regrettably erupted in some unseasonal pugilism. The outcome was a Hills player saw red, his opponent yellow. This was not the outcome which either side had wanted or indeed any of the spectators had anticipated, as the temper of the game had been very even up till then. Barely a minute later the final whistle was blown, and both sides trooped from the field exchanging handshakes.

By virtue of their final quarter Hills deserved their victory, but Haddington did not play like a side holding up the rest of the table and will be disappointed they took nothing away from this game.

Hills play NEWTON STEWART next at the BLADNOCH in the final game of 2018 on Saturday the 15th December with a 14.00 KO. The team will travel by bus, leaving at 10.30; spectators are welcome.

HJRFC 1XV

# Player Position YC RC T C P DG
15Craig ColvinFull Back  0000
14Damien Genocchio 19Wing  0000
13Rory HarteCentre  0000
12James Hamilton-PotterCentre  0000
11Ciaran CallaghanWing  0000
10Euan BrownFly-half  0000
9Alex GibbonsScrum-half  0000
1Ross JacksonLoosehead prop  0000
2Harry Perston 16Hooker  0000
3Daryll ElvinTighthead prop  0000
4Chris WarnockLock  0000
5Charlie SmillieLock  0000
6Conor FergusonFlanker  0000
8Bill Kenny 17No. 8  0000
7David Vallance 18Flanker  0000
16Harry Singh 2Hooker  0000
17Alec Cameron 8Lock  0000
18Preston McGoldrick 7Flanker  0000
19Ash Rajasooriya 14Wing  0000
SPOT THE BALL AT CARRICK 1st DECEMBER 2018

Disappointing single point outcome in South Ayrshire

Carrick 29 points | Hillhead Jordanhill 22 points

IT IS A TRUSIM that a game of rugby lasts for eighty minutes and that what takes place in the first quarter is not necessarily a perfect indicator of the eventual outcome. Thus it was at Maybole on Saturday where Hills gave the impression they would sweep Carrick aside thanks to their opening burst. Their first phase, both line out and scrum, were secure, and they moved the ball with purpose, scoring a fine try from Rory Harte who ran some seventy metres to score, profiting from a well executed miss move in the centre, initiated by stand-off Euan Brown. The no. 10 converted and then added a penalty to place the Hills ten points ahead after the opening exchanges. Thereafter Carrick came more into the game, proving more powerful at the breakdown, despite some solid defence from all the visiting players. After forty minutes, the home side had edged marginally in front by eighteen points to seventeen. Rory Harte had scored from close range and his try had been converted, but it was still game-on with Carrick having to play into the low sun for the second half.

Injures to loose-head prop Ross Jackson and second row Charlie Smillie shortly after the break necessitated a much earlier introduction of bench replacements than intended; this resulted in disruptions, particularly to the front row. An increasing fragility seeped into the Hills’ second half performance and their first half sparkle faded badly. Certainly a yellow card did not help, but the game fell away into a struggle for territory and good go-forward ball. Hills came out second best on both counts and the score mounted inexorably in favour of Carrick. With one minute left Hills were looking at taking nothing from the game, until some belated continuity play released Chris Warnock on the burst in the home twenty two. His thunderous charge fell just short, but some determined recycling allowed Rory Harte sufficient space to cross the line unopposed for his third try of the afternoon. The fact his conversion fell short was of limited importance, as the losing bonus point had been secured. The final whistle sounded and the Hills players were left to reflect on how a game which had started full of promise ended so disappointingly.

Next up, Hills Men’s 1st XV play HADDINGTON on Saturday 8th December at Hughenden with a 14.30 KO. This game will be played under the main pitch floodlights.

HJRFC 1XV

# Player Position YC RC T C P DG
15Craig ColvinFull Back  0000
14Albain de Chaille 19Wing  0000
13Rory HarteCentre  3210
12James Hamilton-PotterCentre  0000
11Ciaran CallaghanWing  0000
10Euan Brown 18Fly-half  0000
9Alex GibbonsScrum-half  0000
1Ross Jackson 16Loosehead prop  0000
2Harry PerstonHooker  0000
3Daryll ElvinTighthead prop  0000
4Chris WarnockLock  0000
5Charlie Smillie 17Lock  0000
6Preston McGoldrickFlanker  0000
7David VallanceFlanker  0000
8Conor FergusonNo. 8  0000
16Harry Singh 1Hooker  0000
17Alec Cameron 5Lock  0000
18Hugo Gesta 10Fly-half  0000
19Damien Genocchio 14Wing  0000

Hills Take Five Points from Reduced St. Boswell

Hillhead Jordanhill 52 points St Boswells 24 points

On a fine late autumnal day for running rugby, Hills did sufficient in a blistering first half of running rugby to take the game away from a numerically understrength St. Boswells side.

The visitors started with one short and were then reduced to thirteen after twenty minutes, when one of their second rowers had to leave the field injured. After some forty two minutes, the referee adjudged that Jimmy Griffith, the home right winger, had committed an offence meriting his dismissal, and then after sixty five minutes the visitors lost another player to injury, finishing the game with only twelve on the park. The considerable dislocations in play did nothing for Hills concentration levels in the second half.

Brightest for the Hills in the first half were the irrepressible Rory Harte, playing in the outside centre channel and showing the benefits of a change of pace to score two fine tries, while Jimmy Griffith, when given space on the right wing, blasted over for three tries. Improving second rower, Charlie Smillie, scored from close range with Euan Brown adding a penalty and two conversions. Hills were certainly well worthy of their half time lead of thirty seven points to seven with flanker David Vallance and inside centre, Jonny Hamilton-Potter, both running powerfully when the opportunities arose.

The second period was noteworthy for a display of typical Border grit from the visitors who rallied against the odds to score three fine tries and secure a valuable try bonus point. Hills rather closed down for parts of the second half, but came back to life with some good break out play from their replacement back subs, Alban de Chaillé (2 tries) and Hugo Gesta (one try), who both ran purposefully from midfield to score against a fractured defence.

Hills play next away to Maybole against Carrick on Saturday the 1st December with a 14.00 KO. There is NO game this coming Saturday, the 24th November, as it is the second round of the cup from which Hills were eliminated in the first round.

Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin (C) , Jimmy Griffith, Rory Harte, Jonathon Hamilton-Potter (Hugo Gesta) , Ciaran Callaghan (Alban de Chaille), Euan Brown , Alex Gibbons , Ross Jackson, Harry Perston, Daryll “Kitschoff” Elvin (Blair Mackenzie), Chris Warnock , Charlie Smillie, Bill Kenny, Scott McMillan (Preston McGoldrick) and David Vallance Subs All use

Report & Picture: BBM