Murrayfield Wanderers FC 26 points Hillhead Jordanhill RFC 47 points

This was a “ helter skelter ” of a contest. After the first quarter, HIlls were 21-0 points up and looking unstoppable. By the 38th minute, Murrayfield had come back strongly to make it 21-19, but the visitors stole away in the last play of the half to advance to 28-19. The third quarter was very evenly contested with the score moving to 35-26, but in the last 20 minutes Hills showed considerable resilience to take the game away from their hosts to put on 12 unanswered points and return home with 5 league points.

The first 20 minutes showed Hills at their best with first phase dominance of both scrum and line out and thundering ball carrying in the loose from Callum Griffiths and Ryan Reilly. Distribution was swift from the break down, and tries followed from Griffiths, centre Corrie Dicks via a Rory Harte floated pass and then close range from Preston McGoldrick. Stand -off and captain, Rory Harte, converted all three. But then Murrayfield woke up from their torpor, and ran back many of Rory Harte’s defensive clearances to cause panic in the first up tackling in the visitors’ ranks. The hosts scored 3 tries through hard, direct running and Hills appreciated they were now in a game. Fortunately some degree of normality was restored when Hills scored their 4th and bonus point try just before half time via Calum Griffith’s physicality.

Th 3rd quarter of the game became a lot closer as Hills struggled to contain Murrayfield’s open play, but Rory Harte scored a typical try, weaving through a fragmented hosts’ defence to touch down and convert his own try. But Murrayfield stuck doggedly to their task and hit back to make the score 35-26 after 60 minutes.

The seminal act of this exciting game then unfolded. Second rower, Robbie Thomson, a peripheral 1st XV squad member this season, had just come onto the field and Murrayfield were pressing via a close range line out. The “ super Sub” stole the opposition ball, and Hills relieved the pressure on their line. He then participated in some incisive ball carrying which led to Hills 6th try, scored by the dynamic Ryan Reilly. Rory Harte was successful with his 6th consecutive conversion and Hills were now sitting at 42-26 with only 5 minutes to play.

The “ super sub’s “ cameo continued when he again stole Murrayfield defensive lineout ball. After several resulting phases of play during which the hosts were penalized for persistent infringements, replacement, Tim Welsh, scored in the corner. This brought a fine conclusion for the visitors to this game where fortunes fluctuated throughout the full 80 minutes.

Hills will require to bring all the good features of this performance – first phase domination, aggressive running at fragmented defences and metronomic goal kicking – to their final home game of the season against the dangerous Orkney Squad. Kick off time this Easter Saturday at Hughenden is 13.00.

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