Hillhead Jordanhill 17 points – Gordonians 25 points
This defeat was a disappointing outcome for the Hills players, coaches and supporters in that, despite all their efforts exerted in a much improved performance, Gordonians overturned a 17-15 score in the home team’s favour in the final five minutes of this engrossing encounter to run out winners by 25 points to 17, thereby denying Hills a consolation bonus point.
From the start Hills, hitting down the Hughenden slope, looked lively both at scrum and line out where Charlie Smillie proved a reliable provider of ball . The midfield triangle of Euan Brown at stand off, and Rory Harte and Damien Genocchio in the centre were all full of running but the visitors defence stood firm until the 15th minute when the lively Andy Blair at scrum half nipped over from close range to score a fine try which Euan Brown converted. Gordonians, however, were no slouches in attack and they came back strongly at the Hills by finishing well for three tries to take the score at halftime to 15 points to 10 in their favour, Euan Brown having kicked a penalty goal.
The next thirty minutes were full of end to end of end stuff with both XV’s making excellent progress through their big ball carriers. For Hills, Chris Warnock and Alec Cameron excelled in all the unglamorous chores of ball carrying, while Charlie Smillie ran like a demented giraffe any time he received the ball in open play. But it fell to “Goldenballs”, Rory Harte to put the points on the board with a solo move, which involved more spins that “Strictly Come Dancing” provides, to score to the extreme left of the posts. Euan Brown nailed the conversion and Hills were in front with all their supporters nervously studying the time left.
But it was the visitors from Aberdeen who rose to the challenge to protect their unbeaten league record. Their forwards were relentless and remorseless in the closing minutes with eight phases of recycling producing a close range try which their fullback converted, his first successful kick of the game. Immediate breakdown pressure on the restart provided another opportunity for the Gordonians full back Crawford to kick at goal, and he was again accurate, making sure of his side’s victory with a well struck penalty from 35 metres. Gordonians were ecstatic while Hills were deflated but the losers will reflect on a spirited performance which they most take forward to their next game.
Saturday the 6th October finds Hills at Burnbrae with a KO 15.00. “West” have made a fine start to their season but if Hills can build on this performance this derby will be some game.
Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin (c) (Roger Webster), Jamie Franklin (Graham Davidson), Damien Genocchio, Rory Harte, Roger Webster (Jimmy Griffith), Euan Brown, Andy Blair (Craig Colvin), Ross Ferguson, Harry Perston, Paul Howell (Blair Mackenzie), Charlie Smillie, Chris Warnock, David Vallance (Chris Crome), Alec Cameron and Preston MA McGoldrick