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.

Carrick RFC

Position YC RC T C P DG
 000000

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
 Total   3210

Honours Even for 2XV at Hughenden

Hillhead Jordanhill 2XV 19 points Hamilton 3XV 19 points

This was a fine advert for West Reserve league 1 rugby with both sides showing a willingness to play running rugby on the very firm surface of the Great Western Road pitch at Hughenden. Hills were given a stirring lead both in the line out and in open play by captain and second rower, Toby Mitchell. who ran himself into the ground for his side’s cause. The home scrum was also dominant throughout, but the Hamilton defence was effective in keeping the Hills attackers at bay for almost all of the first half until Mitchell burst through on a fine line from within the twenty two to score at the posts. Stand off Hugo Gesta converted, but the visitors hit back just before half time with an unconverted try to leave Hills two points to the good at the interval.

Hills piled further ahead in the second half with two further tries, one converted by Gesta. For the first of these, full back Daniel Hespe broke well from deep in his own half, but was pulled down some thirty metres short of the try line. Quick re- possession from the breakdown and fine fingertip passing from the French midfield trio put hooker Callum Kettles into space some five metres out and he plunged over for his score. Hills second score in the half was down to very good continuity rugby from backs and forwards which put open side flanker, Berthomé in the clear some ten metres out and there was no stopping him.

With a fourteen point cushion and play just in the final quarter, Hills relaxed and the stuffy Hamilton side began to win more fifty/fifty ball to press hard in the Hills twenty two. After seventy five minutes, their pack drove hard for the line and scored with the conversion a formality. Hills could not take the play out of their own twenty two, and with the final move of the game, the Hamilton scrum half ran laterally taking the rush defence with him and then reverse passed to his intruding full back who crashed over to score. The visitors’ scrum half piloted the conversion home and fulltime honours were even. Great game for the players, spectators and referee, Neil Wood.

Hills 2nd XV – Daniel Hespe, Callum Weir, Hugo Defienne (Sean Smith), Alban de Chaillé, Anoosha Rajasooriya, Hugo Gesta, Andy Blair (Alex Gibbons), Martyn Low (Michael Sinclair), Euan Ramage (Callum Kettles), Daryll “Kitschoff” Elvin, Toby Mitchell (C), Loïs Legendre, Chris Crome, Chris Brooks (Matthew Pettigrew), Firmin Berthomé. Subs All used

Report & Picture: BBM

Christmas Ceilidh

This year Copperceilidh are playing for the Hills Christmas Ceilidh.

Follow the link for a sample. https://www.copperceilidh.co.uk/sample-music-videos

Tickets are available from our imaginatively named email account: HJRFCchristmastickets@gmail.com.

£15 or £27 for two with some food, decorations, games and prizes on the night as well.

All are most welcome to join us for what promises to be a fabulous event!

 

 

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

Injuries Mar Hills Home Win

Hillhead Jordanhill 9 points Murrayfield Wanderers 3 points (game abandoned after 74 minutes, Hillhead/Jordanhill win)

This was a gutsy performance from the Hills in a floodlit game, played in atrocious conditions of heavy wind driven rain. Visitors Murrayfield Wanderers had all the momentum in the first quarter playing up the slope towards the clubhouse, but all they had to show for their ascendancy was a short range penalty which cannoned off one of the uprights and was cleared swiftly. From that point, Hills came more into the game, helped by a much improved performance on the touchline from line out jumpers, Charlie Smillie and Chris Warnock. They should have scored a try following a thunderous break from his own twenty two by Jonny Hamilton-Potter, but the opportunity was lost close to the visitors’ try line. Rory Harte, however, allowed his side to have a six point lead at the interval, thanks to two well struck penalty goals.

The pattern of play continued in the second period with Hills having the bulk of territory and possession, but just being unable, on such a foul night, to play sufficient quality wet weather rugby to get across the line. Replacement prop, Ross Jackson, ran well for some fifty metres, but his breakout did not produce a clear try scoring opportunity. The scoring in the second half was restricted to an exchange of penalty goals between the respective kickers, Rory Harte and Alex Godsmark.

The game did, however, produce two long stoppages of play in separate incidents for medical attention to two front row players. Fortunately the Murrayfield Wanderer was eventually able to walk from the field, albeit slowly, to the comfort of the stand. Ross Fergusson, the Hills tight head prop, was less fortunate and had to be stretchered off and taken by ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Everyone, players and supporters, were mightily relieved to learn that the problem was related to serious soft tissue damage and Ross was able to leave hospital on Saturday morning.

Hills play next at home on Saturday the 17th November with a 13.45 KO against St.Boswells from the Borders.

Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin (Euan Brown), Jimmy Griffith (Craig Colvin), Damien Genocchio, James Hamilton-Potter, Ciaran Callaghan, Rory Harte, Alex Gibbons, Ross Fergusson, Harry Perston, Daryll Elvin (Ross Jackson), Chris Warnock, Charlie Smillie, Bill Kenny, Scott McMillan and David Vallance. Subs Toby Mitchell

Report and Picture: BBM
Hills Kicks video (below) courtesy of M.Malone, embedded in the supporters crowd

 

No Points at Pickie Park

Orkney 31 points Hillhead Jordanhill 22 points

The turbulence experienced by the Hills party of twenty four, nineteen players and five team management, as they took to the leaden skies above Glasgow in their Loganair scheduled service to Kirkwall on Saturday morning was nothing compared to the battering the forward pack took some three hours later on terra firma at Pickaquoy Park.

Given the prevailing zephyrs, Hills had won the important toss and had chosen to play with the wind at their backs. But the first five minutes were a chastening experience for the Hills, as their pack was rammed backwards in the first three scrums , thereby destroying any momentum they had hoped to gain. The home XV quickly held the upper hand, and made the visitors pay with a well worked move which led to a try close to the posts which was easily converted . Instead of playing the game in the Orkney half, Hills were constantly on the back foot engaged in desperate defence in which captain, Dan Williams, excelled. It was only towards the last ten minutes of the first half that the Hills were able to put any pressure on Orkney. First of all, Euan Brown kicked a thunderous penalty from all of fifty metres. Then Ciaran Callaghan finished very well in the left hand corner on the first occasion Hills managed to recycle quickly with the final pass being exquisitely floated over the centres’ heads by stand off Rory Harte. Hills were ahead eight points to seven at the end of the first half, but the margin was wafer thin considering Orkney now had the best of the conditions.

Sure enough the second half featured waves of attacks from Orkney with Hills striving hard at all times to get out their half. Orkney scored four tries, but charitably they recognised two of these were “own goals” gifted through uncharacteristic errors in the Hills rear-guard. The visitors two second half tries were due to the fine footballing skills of Damien Genocchio and Rory Harte, the former picking up loose ball in midfield and making the line on his own, brushing off several would be tacklers on his way. The try was one only Rory Harte could score. A meandering run out of his own twenty two from a quickly taken tap penalty produced numerous side steps and feints to the effect not one home player could put a hand on him on his way to the line. But there really was little else to cheer the Hills in the second half. The technical area resembled a small scale A. and E. ward. Second rower, John McLellan, was stretched out with a badly sprained ankle ; Scott McMIllan had a badly bruised knee ; Ryan Williamson was coming round slowly after a head knock ; and Ross Fergusson was cooling his heels in the sin bin. Such was the dislocation that scrums became uncontested and Dan Williams was asked to play in three different positions : inside centre, scrum half and then No 8. The Club Physio, Aoife O’Shea, did remarkably well to manage all the injured players.

Hills next league game is at home Friday night, the 9th November, when Murrayfield Wanderers are the visitors for a floodlight game, kick-off 19.45.

Hills 1st XV – Euan Brown, Craig Colvin (Jamie Maddox) , Damien Genocchio , Dan Williams (C) (James Hamilton-Potter) , Ciaran Callaghan , Rory Harte , Andy Blair (Dan Williams) , Ryan Williamson (Ross Fergusson) , Harry Perston, Daryll Elvin , John McLellan (Bill Kenny) , Charlie Smillie, Euan Ramage (Preston McGoldrick) Bill Kenny (Dan Williams) Scott McMillan . Subs all used

Report & Picture: BBM

Hills Win A Game Of Two Halves…. Just!

Hillhead Jordanhill 23 points Ardrossan Accies 20 points

It was the last minute of an engrossing contest when the referee penalised Ardrossan, who were deep inside the “Hills” half of the field. Rory Harte, who up to this point had enjoyed an immaculate game at stand-off for the “Hills”, arrowed his kick some fifty metres down the line to set his side up for a last tilt at the visitors. The home lineout, however, had been misfiring all game, but Chris Warnock, at the line out tail, rose majestically to win the ball. Dan Williams, Hills scrum half and captain, set his line away and, at the ensuing breakdown, Ardrossan offended, and “Hills” had a penalty to win from some thirty metres out. The outwardly calmest man on the field and ground, Rory Harte, stepped up and slotted the kick. The referee blew immediately for full time and “Hills” had won the game.

Rory Harte steps up to slot over the winning penalty.

This National 3 league game was a classic one of “two halves “. The hosts dominated the first half comfortably to stand twenty points to ten ahead at the interval, but the visitors from North Ayrshire had the “Hills” in a fierce arm lock for most of the second half until Rory Harte had the final say. Ardrossan had settled quickly and their energetic stand off, Steven Lewis, put their first points on the board with a well struck penalty. The game and its flow was brilliantly stage managed by the power plays of the respective stand off halves, whose respective styles showcased all the talents of the king of positions. Harte was all dancing with graceful feet movement and side steps and a kick from hand worthy of a professional player, whereas his rival, Lewis, was all strategic vision with wonderful passing skills. “Hills” soon recovered from the early setback to score tries from Andy Blair at scrum half and Damien Genocchio in the thirteen channel. Second rower, Chris Warnock, was prominent in the lead up work for both of these scores, and then Rory Harte added a penalty goal. Ardrossan threatened briefly with a fine movement down their wide channel on the left flank which led to a score at the posts which was converted. “Hills” fought back and, as he has done so often, Rory Harte found space with a deft chip over the visitor’s defence to allow right winger Graham Davidson to pick up and dodge through a splintered rear-guard to score. Harte added the goal points with a fine kick from the right hand side of the posts, and “Hills” were looking solid with a half time score of twenty to ten points.

Tense times for the Hills coaches.

Kicking downhill and for the first five minutes of the second half, “Hills” were still in command, and they should have added to their score with a fine sweeping left to right movement in the Ardrossan danger area but the chance was lost. This seemed to energise the visitors but deflate the hosts. Ardrossan began to win the breakdowns and had all the touchline possession. The scrums became uncontested when the visitors had front row problems and this depowered the “Hills” for whom new boy Darryl Elvin, had a fine debut on the loose head side. With prompting from Lewis allied to his own finishing skills, Ardrossan scored two tries both of which were unconverted and had the momentum. But “Hills” dug deep and finally weathered the storm to march the game back into the Ardrossan half and the eventual dramatic denouement.

The winning team!

“Hills” for their next game, Saturday the 3rd November, travel to play Orkney. Thanks to ongoing fund raising and some subsides from the SRU, the squad will fly to Kirkwall on the 08.30 Saturday morning flight and return late afternoon to Glasgow on the 16.00 scheduled service. For anyone on holiday in Orkney, the KO is 11.30.

Words | Bernie Mitchell

Pictures | Hamish Adamson & Stuart Irvine

Tough Times on the North 500

Caithness 57 points Hillhead Jordanhill 14 points

The first leg of the North 500, the latest “must do” on Trip Advisor, saw the Hills bus the 110 miles from Inverness to Thurso where Caithness play on a fine late Autumn morning, having stayed overnight in the capital of the Highlands. The drive itself is wonderful, spanning the Beauly Firth, Cromarty Firth and then the Beauly Firth. Thereafter, the A9 road hugs the coast, passing the holiday villages of Golpsie, Brora and Helmsdale before ascending to the flow country of Caithness where the vistas are magnificent across to the Sutherland Munros. Thurso was reached after some 2 hours 15 minutes of a drive which reinforced perceptions of what a wonderful country Scotland is. The visit to the North will be taken only once this season by Hillhead Jordanhill, but Caithness, their hosts, are well used to the journey, travelling to the Central Belt some eleven times to fulfil their national League commitments.

The fact this report should open with an overview of part of the trip to Thurso where Caithness RFC play indicates that it will stay longer in the memory than the game which followed. On their well appointed ground with a team of well nourished backs and forwards, Caithness were ruthless in their execution of the basics, particularly in the contact areas, where Hills struggled all afternoon with their hosts physicality. The first half saw Caithness run through the phases with ease scoring four tries against Hills, but the visitors playing against a stiff breeze did have their chances. Euan Brown intercepted some ten metres from his own line and scampered ina lung bursting run some seventy metres unopposed, till he was chopped only five metres short of the Caithness line. The hosts offended at the breakdown, losing a player to the sin bin in the process, but Hills could make nothing of their numerical advantage. Second rower, Chris Warnock, rightly named Hills man of the match made some serious yards in midfield, but the recycling could make nothing of the “Green fence” in front of them. Ciaran Callaghan threatened briefly on the left flank, but a knock on close to the line ended that promise.

Turning round twenty six points adrift, it was essential Hills settled quickly, but the momentum that Caithness generated in the first forty minutes was difficult to defuse, and the visitors subsided further to two more tries. Finally after fifty five minutes Hills started playing in the Caithness twenty two and two tries followed. Tight head prop Blair Mackenzie was driven over from close range and then Bill Kenny, whose work ethic is always to be commended, scored. The second try came from a rarity in the modern game, a tight head strike by hooker Harry Perston. Euan Brown converted both and there was a faint hope this spurt would lift the Hills, but instead Caithness found their “second wind” to run in another three tries, punishing the visitors for their failures to hold onto the ball. The final victory margin of nine tries to only two served only to emphasise the disparity between the two teams.

The bus journey home of some 280 miles, punctuated by a pit stop in Pitlochry, allowed time and opportunity to anaesthetise the senses, and blank out the memory of the game. Hills now have to lift themselves several notches to be able to offer resistance to opponents Ardrossan Accies in the ninth game of the 2018/2019 NL 3 season on Saturday the 27th October; kick off at Hughenden is 15.00.

Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin, Graham Davidson (Alban de Chaillé), Damien Genocchio, Dan Williams (C), Ciaran Callaghan (Jamie Maddox), Euan Brown, Andy Blair, Ryan Williamson, Harry Perston, Blair Mackenzie (Daryll Elvin), Bill Kenny, Chris Warnock, James Acheson, Conor Ferguson, Preston McGoldrick (Scott McMillan). Subs All used

Nervous Win at Hughenden

Hillhead Jordanhill 20 points Perthshire 13 points

It was a relieved group of players, coaches and supporters when the excellent exchange referee, Callum Paterson, blew for time up at Hughenden with Hills winning a close game against Perthshire by one goal, two tries and a penalty goal to two tries and one penalty goal. Thus Hills autumn of rugby discontent with three successive pointless defeats was brought to a welcome conclusion.

The first quarter was all Hills, but with little finishing patience in the visitor’s danger areas until left winger, Ciaran Callaghan, broke up the middle of the field and offloaded well to James Acheson. The second rower made a fine break into the Perthshire twenty two from where quick recycling and well directed passing put right winger, Graham Davidson, clear to run round behind the posts to score. Stand off, Euan Brown, added the conversion, but Perthshire were quick to respond with a penalty goal. The momentum, however, remained with the Hills, and James Acheson was again prominent in broken play when his break deep into the Perthshire twenty two produced a follow up try for hooker Harry Perston. A twelve three margin after forty minutes in favour of the Hills was a fair reflection of the flow of the game.

But the half time margin was soon reduced when a speculative kick ahead from Perthshire caught the Hills defence asleep and allowed the follow up to slide in for an opportunistic try The visitors were now back in the game, but some disciplined defence from Hills raised the siege. It took a sublime piece of skill from Rory Harte to add to the score. From a midfield position, the fullback noted the visitors were thin at the back and Euan Brown was unmarked on the right wing. A delicately weighted chip over the flat defence and kind bounce allowed Euan Brown to pick up and run in unopposed from thirty metres. The conversion was missed but Rory Harte made no mistake with a penalty kick for goal which took his side to twenty to eight points ahead with some ten minutes left.

Hills then spent the remainder of the game in defence. A try was conceded taking Perthshire into losing bonus point territory, but the Hills held out to win a penalty which Rory Harte kicked gleefully into touch to finish the game. Hills  will be hoping this change of fortune can be continued for their long away trip to play Caithness in Thurso on Saturday the 20th with a 14.00 KO.

Hills 1st XV – Rory Harte (Alban Chaille), Graham Davidson, Damien Genocchio , Rory Harte, Ciaran Callaghan, Euan Brown (Rory Harte), Dan Williams (C), Ryan Williamson , Harry Perston, Ross Fergusson (Blair Mackenzie), Bill Kenny (John McLellan), James Acheson, David Vallance, Conor Ferguson, Preston McGoldrick (Euan Ramage)

Report & Picture: BBM

Hills Go Down at Burnbrae

West of Scotland 50 points Hillhead Jordanhill 14 points

On a wonderful afternoon for running rugby at Burnbrae, West took full advantage of a well below par showing from the visitors to record a comprehensive victory and move to the top of the NL3 table some 25% of the way through the playing season. Hills, for their part, now sink to a lowly ninth place and will require to begin picking up points very soon to ensure a dog fight against relegation does not over take them. The momentum which had been generated in their last home game against Gordonians was sadly absent.

Matters were ominous from the first set scrummage when the Hills with a make shift front row were rammed back yards, but the Hills forwards stuck at it, and competed both at the set piece and line outs; but the West pack had a more cohesive look about them the whole of the eighty minutes. Mistakes – missed tackles and failing to deal with an opportunist kick ahead – also cost Hills dearly. Yet fine breaks into the West twenty two by improving second rower, Charlie Smillie, and James “The Come back Kid” Reekie should both have led to scores, but the opportunities were sadly lost.

At nineteen points down after forty minutes, Hills needed to strike early, but, after only two minutes of the second half, West had their fourth and bonus point try from an interception. Further indignity befell the visitors when they conceded a penalty try at the scrummage and then a sixth try when West moved the ball wide against a splintered defence. Thirty eight points down after fifty five minutes was not quite the scoreline which the Hills might have expected, but there was a brief flurry of resistance which brought two fine tries for the visitors. First of all, Damien Genocchio scorched in from thirty metres out to score an encouraging individual try, and then Jamie Franklin showed some wonderful footwork to offload to substitute back, Jonny Hamilton-Potter, who still had some work to do to shake off two defenders to make it to the line. Euan Brown converted both and suddenly there were signs of a revival. These were quickly extinguished, however, by an efficient West side which showed more patience in retaining possession and variety in attack than their visitors. Two further tries were conceded by the visitors and the Hills were well and truly walloped in this North Glasgow derby.

Hills now entertain Perthshire on the 13th October at Hughenden with a 15.00 KO. It is to be hoped Hills pick up soon as they have now lost three games on the trot.

Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin, Jamie Franklin, Damien Genocchio (Jonny Hamilton-Potter), Rory Harte, Jimmy Griffith (Damien Genocchio), Euan Brown, Dan Williams (C), Harry Perston (Michael Sinclair), Preston McGoldrick (Harry Perston), Ross Fergusson, Charlie Smillie, Chris Warnock, James Reekie, Conor Ferguson, Bill Kenny (Euan Ramage)

Report & Picture: BBM