Category: The Bunnet


Hills Win Five Pointer in Game of Two Halves

Caithness RFC 12 points | Hillhead Jordanhill RFC 29 points

IT’S A LONG WAY TO THE VERY NORTH OF SCOTLAND for a game which lasts only 80 minutes. A total of some 560 miles to Caithness’s Millbank ground in Thurso and back in fact. Visitors on domestic league business have to undertake the journey only once a season, whereas the hosts, Caithness, have to make 11 reverse visits to the central belt to complete their programme. Their continuing commitment and organisation have to be admired and also their competitiveness. Because of the windy conditions which prevailed throughout on the exposed grounds, this game split into two halves: Hills won the first half by 29 points to 0, and then lost the second half by 12 points to 0.

Hills were at their most commanding in the first 40 minutes when they established huge territorial advantage in the Caithness twenty-two. They monopolised possession, and the first score was the best of a busy afternoon with a flowing right to left movement. Scott Halliday made a classic outside break after repeated recycling to offload into the grateful hands of Ruairi Taylor, intruding from full back, who raced to the line unopposed. Finlay Keegan converted with a wonderful kick from the left hand touchline. Five minutes later he was repeating his feat, but this time from the right hand touchline, adding the extras to some Rory Harte wizardry.

Caithness then tried to escape from the confines of their twenty-two with a fine break out of defence by their no. 10, Marc Anderson, but this foundered on Ciaran Callaghan’s alert footballing brain. The flight of the hosts’ pass was guessed correctly and a wonderful solo interception try resulted. Try number four came from an Olly Davidson charge, some good recycling by the forwards and then some sleight of hand from Rory Harte which let captain Conor Ferguson in for the first of his two tries. His second, on the stroke of half time, was down to some good ball carrying from Robbie Thomson and Blair Mackenzie which set up the close field position for a drive to the line.

Hills defended well in the second period of play, and became much more competitive at the line out thanks to Robbie Thomson’s work at the front and Conor Ferguson’s athleticism in the middle of the line. Unlike their hosts when playing against the wind, Hills made good ground through their various runners at the back; Finlay Keegan, and replacements Graham Davidson and Ross Robertson. Paul Kidd’s dynamism in the loose proved helpful to his side when lifting the siege. Although the visitors conceded two second half tries, they were never in real trouble against this spirited Caithness side, and ran out worthy winners by 29 points to 12.

Hills now have a weekend off and are back in action on Saturday March 21st when they entertain old rivals Ardrossan Academicals at Hughenden with a 15:00 KO. Coaches and players will be hoping for a continuation of their recent form so as to finish the 19/20 season with some momentum.


Hills Beat West and the Weather

Hillhead Jordanhill RFC 12 points | West of Scotland RFC 10 points

WHILE THERE WAS SOME DOUBT as to whether this game would proceed due to casual water lying on the surface of the pitch after heavy overnight rain, Hills President Gary “Kitch” Kitchener used all his earth science knowledge combined with the judicious use of a large fork to make the grounds playable. After the early morning concerns the playing surface was in remarkable condition, but the ambient temperature of 4C and the biting wind chill with occasional rain made for testing conditions for the players as well as the brave supporters, shivering in the Fraser stand.

It was not a day for pretty, open rugby, but both sides worked hard in attack and defence to respectively fashion and close down chances. With the wind blowing east-south-east, West held the advantage in the first half kicking to the Gartnavel end of the grounds. But there were few line breaks and first and second phase possession was evenly contested. Hills relied on half backs Alex Gibbons with his astute box kicks, and stand-off Rory Harte with his fine line kicking, to take them out of trouble. The West forwards proved troublesome with their close driving and the visitors had scored two unconverted tries after 30 minutes, one of which came off an upright, which would prove crucial. In the last 10 minutes of the half, Hills raised their game through Jonny Agnew’s lineout work and Robbie Thomson’s carrying in the loose. A series of charges at the West line ended up with replacement prop Adam Eakin burrowing his way over for a try. Winger Finlay Keegan slotted the conversion and the half ended with West 10-7 to the good.

Hills now had the wind and much of the territorial advantage in the second half, but West proved a stubborn side to break down. When Hills decisive score came, it was down to some opportunism from Finlay Keegan who, with little space to move in, caught his own chip kick to plunge over the line. The conversion was missed, but Hills now had a two point advantage and were in the ascendency. Rory Harte ensured the game was played in the West half of the field and try as the visitors might to break out into the Hills danger areas, their attacks were well contained by the home defensive wall. The last 10 minutes were played out in midfield with neither side gaining any advantage. Within some 90 seconds of the final whistle, the pitch and grounds were enveloped in a fierce snowstorm and players and spectators ran for the comfort of the clubhouse.

Hills now travel next Friday/Saturday March 7th to Thurso to play Caithness, a 560 mile round trip with an overnight stay in Inverness. This will not be an easy game as the home team requires points to move out of the National League 3 relegation zone. If the visitors can retain the defensive shape which they showed in the West game and also play rugby in the Caithness danger areas and not in their own half, then the Hills stand a good chance of success.


Hills Blown Away By Berwick

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.


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.


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

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.


Hills competitive at Howe but yellow cards costly


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.


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


Duffus Park


Howe of Fife RFC26Win


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

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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