Hillhead Jordanhill 0 points; Newton Stewart 27 points
By any measure of performance, this was, at times, a very disappointing display from the Hills. After 40 minutes, the sides were locked at 0-0, but in the second period of play visitors Newton Stewart found the extra gears that the Hills did not possess to take the game assuredly away from the home side to win convincingly by two goals, two tries and one penalty goal to no score. Yet Hills had their chances to put points on the board in the first half, but failed. A kick at goal in front of the posts was refused in favour of a scrum but the ball was fumbled out wide; a two to one chance in the Newton danger area was wasted; and poor handling and ball retention skills contributed to further Hills disappointments. Even the sin binning of the visitor’s stand off proved no catalyst to the Hills in their ability to score.
Newton Stewart made good use of the Hughenden slope to drive play towards the Hills goal line and their four tries came regularly throughout the second period of play. It was noticeable that Newton showed more patience with the ball in hand, going through the phases while their opponents seemed to treat the ball like a “hot potato” with poor off-loading and knocks on. Scrum half Andy Blair had a few good sniping runs, but these fizzled out due to lack of support. Rory Harte threatened on occasion to break the line, but even he struggled to make much impact on a very well organised visiting defence. There were some bright spots, however, with the Hills line out functioning well throughout the game and the scrummage occasionally showing determination in driving their opposition pack off the ball. But these were crumbs of comfort on a rich man’s table; and the collective effort from the Hills fell well short.
Next up for Hills at Hughenden on Saturday the 29th, KO 15.00, are Gordonians who have made a fine start to their season with four consecutive wins. Hills will require to wipe this display quickly from the memory banks, and focus on playing a more disciplined game to return to winning ways.
Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin, Damien Genocchio (Jamie Franklin), Rory Harte, Callum Weir (Damien Genocchio), Ciaran Callaghan, Euan Brown, Andy Blair, Ross Jackson (Nathan McCann), Harry Perston, Ryan Williamson, James Acheson, James Mclellan, David Vallance (Harry Singh), Conor Ferguson (Chris Crome) and Dan Williams (C)
Feature Picture: Hamish Adamson