Category: Men’s 1st XV News


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.


# Player Position Captain T C P DG
15Angus TwaddleFull Back00000
14Ross Robertson 19Wing00000
13Scott HallidayCentre00000
12Ciaran CallaghanWing00000
11Finlay KeeganWing00000
10Rory HarteCentre00000
9Paul KiddScrum-half00000
1Daryll ElvinLoosehead prop00000
2Preston McGoldrick 3Flanker00000
3Nick McAuley 16Tighthead prop00000
4James Reekie 17Lock10000
5Robbie Thomson 18-00000
6Calum McLeodFlanker00000
7Alec CameronLock00000
8Olly DavidsonFlanker00000
16Ross Jackson 3Loosehead prop00000
17Adam Eakin 4Prop00000
18Blair Colvin 5Lock00000
19Damien Gennochio 14Wing00000

Hills Resilience Wins At Memorial Field


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.


# Player Position Captain T C P DG
Angus Twaddle Full Back 0000
Ross RobertsonWing 0000
Scott HallidayCentre 0000
Ciaran CallaghanCentre 0000
Finlay Keegan Wing 0000
Rory HarteCentre 0000
Paul KiddScrum-half 0000
Daryll Elvin Loosehead prop 0000
Harry Perston Hooker 0000
Nick McAuleyTighthead prop 0000
James ReekieLock 0000
Jonny Agnew Lock 0000
Calum McLeodFlanker 0000
Olly DavidsonFlanker 0000
Conor FergusonNo. 8 0000
Ross Jackson Loosehead prop 0000
Robbie Thomson Lock 0000
Callum Weir Centre 0000

Hills Record Fine Win Against Caithness


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.


# Player Position Captain T C P DG
15Angus TwaddleFull Back 0000
14Damien GennochioWing 0000
13Scott Halliday 19Centre 0000
12Ciaran CallaghanCentre 0000
11Finlay KeeganWing 0000
10Rory HarteFly-half 0000
9Alex GibbonsScrum Half 0000
1Daryll Elvin 16Loosehead prop 0000
2Harry PerstonHooker 0000
3Nick McAuley 17Tighthead prop 0000
4James ReekieLock 0000
5Alec Cameron 18Lock 0000
6Calum McLeodFlanker 0000
7Olly DavidsonFlanker 0000
8Conor FergusonNo. 8 0000
16Ross Jackson 1Prop 0000
17Adam Eakin 3Prop 0000
18Jonny Agnew 5Lock 0000
19Callum Weir 13Centre 0000

Hills Triumph at Burnbrae


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.


# Player Position Captain T C P DG
Angus TwaddleFull Back 0000
Graham Davidson Wing 0000
Scott HallidayCentre 0000
Ciaran CallaghanCentre 0000
Finlay KeeganWing 0000
Rory HarteFly-half 0000
Alex GibbonsScrum-half 0000
Daryll Elvin Loosehead prop 0000
Harry PerstonHooker 0000
Ross Jackson Tighthead prop 0000
James ReekieLock 0000
Alec Cameron Lock 0000
Calum McLeodFlanker 0000
Olly DavidsonFlanker 0000
Conor FergusonNo. 8 0000
Adam Eakin Prop 0000
Nick McAuley Prop 0000
Ross Robertson Wing 0000
Robbie Thomson Flanker 0000

Honours Even as Yellow Fever Resurfaces at Hughenden


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.


# Player Position Captain T C P DG
15Angus TwaddleFull Back 0120
14Graham DavidsonWing 1000
13Scott HallidayCentre 0000
12Ciaran CallaghanCentre 0000
11Finlay Keegan 19Wing 1000
10Rory HarteFly-half 0000
9Alex GibbonsScrum-half 1000
1Daryll Elvin 16Loosehead prop 0000
2Harry PerstonHooker 0000
3Ross Jackson 17Tighthead prop 0000
4James Reekie 18Lock 0000
5Blair ColvinLock 0000
6Calum McLeodFlanker 0000
7Olly DavidsonFlanker 0000
8Conor FergusonNo. 8 1000
16Adam Eakin 1Prop 0000
17Nick McAuley 3Prop 0000
18Robbie Thomson 4Lock 0000
19Ross Robertson 11Wing 0000
Studied discipline from Alex Gibbons

Hills travel miles north to win at North Inch


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.


The sun shines on the Hills

HILLHEAD JORDANHILL 1st XV 32 pts | Murrayfield Wanderers RFC 15 pts

ON A PERFECTLY STILL DAY stolen from the height of midsummer, Hills overturned a 5 points to 7 half time deficit to eventually defeat a dogged Murrayfield Wanderers side by 32 points to 15 to secure a bonus point win in the opening league game of season 2019/2020.

The victory was based on sound defence and a willingness to run the ball from anywhere in the field. Hills were given a good lead by both the defensive and attacking skills of their back row in which Calum McLeod excelled in attack along with Conor Ferguson, while Olly Davidson was a very effective ball carrier in the loose. The physical strengths of the visitors pack foundered on the static strength of Hills tight head Nick McAuley, but the hosts were second best on the touchline despite the best efforts of Blair Colvin and captain Conor Ferguson.

There was little between the sides in the first half with Angus Twaddle touching down in the corner and Murrayfield coming back by means of an interception in the Hills twenty two. After the break, Angus Twaddle eased his side ahead with a penalty goal and Hills then looked to take the upper hand with the catalyst being stand-off Rory Harte’s mercurial skills and in particular his side step. He literally led the visitors’ defence a dance, and no- one could put a hand on him. Somewhat unusually for the modern game, the Hills stand-off scored three tries, each of which fullback Angus Twaddle converted. The fullback added a penalty goal to his tally, but Murrayfield could add only a try and penalty goal to their half-time scores.

Hills then ran out winners from this absorbing contest and, by virtue of their four tries, added a bonus point to their four points win. Hills kept going well in what were enervating conditions for the first match of the season, and they will need to maintain their fitness reserves in what will be a long and occasionally unforgiving season of travel.

Next Saturday 14th September, Hills travel to Forfar for their first ever fixture with the newly promoted Strathmore side, KO 15:00.


# Player Position Captain T C P DG
15Angus TwaddleFull Back 0000
14Craig Colvin 9Wing 0000
13Damien GenocchioCentre 0000
12Jack HarrisCentre 0000
11Graham DavidsonWing 0000
10Rory HarteFly-half 3000
9Andrew Blair 19Scrum-half 0000
1Daryll ElvinTighthead prop 0000
2Preston McGoldrickHooker 0000
3Nick McAuleyTighthead prop 0000
4Blair Colvin 16Lock 0000
5Ciaran StormouthLock 0000
6Calum McLeodFlanker 0000
8Olly DavidsonNo. 8 0000
7Conor FergusonFlanker 0000
16Harry Perston 4Hooker 0000
17Harry SinghHooker 0000
18Ross RobertsonWing 0000
19Finlay Keegan 9Fly-half 0000

Yellow fever weakens Hills’ cup performance

HJRFC 1st XV 14 pts | GHK 1st XV 38 pts

DESPITE ALL THE RECENT DELUGES, the playing surface at Hughenden was in excellent order for this west end derby in the preliminary round of the National Cup. Playing with the breeze and up the slope in the first half, Hills competed well, reaching the interval only one score behind at 14 -19. But GHK bossed the second half to run out convincing winners 38 -14, although Hills handicapped themselves by having both Blair Colvin and Rory Harte in the sin bin.

The first competitive game of season 2019-20 was notable for the return of two Hughenden favourites, the mercurial Angus Twaddle at full back and the gargantuan Nick McAuley at tight-head prop. Both franked their performances with influential roles in Hills first points. Alex Gibbons at scrum half harried well to pounce on loose ball, Rory Harte threw out a massive miss pass which McAuley gobbled up to barrel over the line. Angus Twaddle converted brilliantly from tight on the left hand touchline and the Hills were 7 points up. But GHK were stung into action and came back strongly to lead by 12 points to 7 after 30 minutes. Then some Rory Harte magic opened up the game with a clever kick into open space which Graham Davidson played football with to dribble across the line and score. Angus Twaddle converted to take “Hills” 2 points ahead but GHK hit back with a fine converted try just on the break.

The second half was tough going for the Hills even with a full complement on the field. The hosts defended well however, being seen only rarely in attack, but frailty again on the touchline mitigated against some promising field positions.

This was a well contested game against a side from a higher league, and the additional match fitness gained should help Hills when they play their opening National 3 league game vs Murrayfield Wanderers at Hughenden on Saturday 7th September with a 15:00 KO. We hope to see you there.


# Player Position Captain T C P DG
15Angus TwaddleFull Back 0000
14Craig ColvinWing 0000
13Ciaran CallaghanCentre 0000
12Rory HarteCentre 0000
11Graham Davidson 20Wing 0000
10Finlay KeeganFly-half 0000
9Alex Gibbons 19Scrum-half 0000
1Ross Jackson 17Loosehead prop 0000
2Harry Singh 16Hooker 0000
3Nick McAuleyTighthead prop 0000
4Blair ColvinLock 0000
5Ciaran Stormouth 18Lock 0000
6Alec CameronFlanker 0000
7Preston McGoldrickFlanker 0000
8Olly DavidsonNo. 8 0000
16Harry Perston 2Hooker 0000
17Daryll Elvin 1Tighthead prop 0000
18Nathan McCann 5Lock 0000
19Andrew Scott 9Scrum-half 0000
20Ross Robertson 11Wing 0000

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’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 no later than Tuesday 30th April.