HILLS BATTLE HARD FOR 5 POINTS v ARDROSSAN
On a beautiful day for running rugby on a firmish main pitch at Hughenden, both sides came to play an open game with Hills adopting their high risk , high octane approach, while visitors Ardrossan operated on a more formal, structured game plan. Certainly in the opening 10 minutes, Hills looked as if they might overwhelm their opponents through the incisive running of centres, Ciaran Callaghan and Damien “ The Ginger Flash “ Genocchio”, but Ardrossan’s scramble defence held out.
Ardrossan worked hard to attack Hills through their recycling game, but some poor handling and Hills superior work in the set scrummage, thanks to the Ulster props, Ross Jackson and Adam Eakin, thwarted the visitors’ best efforts. However, Hills attacking DNA could not be held in check for too much longer. Stand off Rory Harte seized on a dropped Ardrossan ball, saw gaps on the Ardrossan blind side, fed the “ Mighty Atom “, Preston McGoldrick, who found Ciaran Callaghan available to burst clear. The elder Callaghan brother took off like the conditioned athlete he is to score a true finisher’s try, touching down close to the posts, leaving Rory Harte with an easy conversion. Just like Buses which come along one after the other, Hill scored again very quickly with Preston McGoldrick profiting from some disarray in the visitors defence; once again Rory Harte converted to leave his side 14-0 up at the mid point of the game.
The third quarter of the game progressed, but in a much more evenly contested format. Ardrossan won more ball, but could find no way through the rock solid Hills fringe and midfield defence, and when they did their ball handling skills let them down. Hills dominance in the set piece was the catalyst for their third try. Rory Harte’s tactical kicking set up his team territorially in the visitors twenty two where Ardrossan could not cope with repeated five yard scrums, eventually conceding a penalty try.
At 21-0, the game then became slightly disfigured with some unnecessary bouts of indiscipline. Thankfully match official , Paul Burr, was able to restore order without any dismissals and the game moved towards its conclusion. There then occurred one of those “Rugby Special “ moments that happen all too infrequently, and are the basis of bar stool conversations, opening with the question.. “ were you there when Rory Harte scored that sensational try… ? “. Rory fielded a wayward Ardrossan kick in his own twenty two, looked up and then took off with his trademark side step. Past one, then two, over his own 10 metre line, then past 3. He was now in the Ardrossan half. Past defender 4 and finally no. 5. The try line was in his sight and he then accelerated away to touch down between the posts. An exhibition of rugby genius, cheered on by the very appreciative Hughenden crowd. The conversion was a formality and Hills, thanks to Rory, had their bonus point. All credit then to Ardrossan, who rallied in the final minutes of the game to score a fine consolation try through some excellent driving play from their forwards.
A deserved but hard fought win against very tough opponents whom Hills meet again in their final game of the 21/22 season at Memorial Field on Saturday April 2nd, KO 15.00. Before then, Hills play their final game at Hughenden, this coming Friday against Murrayfield Wanderers under the floodlights with a 19.45 KO.
|March 5, 2022||TBD||Tennent's National League Division 3||2021-22|
|HJRFC Men 1st XV||28|
|Ardrossan Academicals RFC 1st XV||7|
HJRFC Men 1st XV
Ardrossan Academicals RFC 1st XV