Strathmore 1st XV 13 points Hillhead Jordanhill 1st XV 20 points

This fine away win at Forfar was based on a resolute defence in which the centre pairing of Andrew Brown and Damien Genocchio excelled and the visiting front row of Ross Jackson, Harry Perston and Lachlan Mackay were superior to their opposite numbers. Also importantly the all round team performance, lasting the full 80 minutes, gave few openings to the well drilled Strathmore side.

The first quarter required Hills to engage all their defensive skills, as the hosts attacked continuously but could find no way through. Then a couple of fine relieving kicks from stand-off and captain, Rory Harte, took Hills close to the Strathmore line. Second rower, Blair Colvin, who bossed the touchline exchanges all afternoon, delivered smoothly from the close range lineout to allow scrum half, Andy Scott jnr, to set his line moving. A fierce close range drive from flanker Calum Weir, assisted by Giacomo Sanders, tied in the home midfield defence with quick breakdown ball allowing Rory Harte to float a pass out wide with winger Corrie Dicks being the try scoring beneficiary. Hills were now becoming more active in attack with Graham Davidson prominent, but Strathmore did trouble the scoreboard with a well struck penalty from their stand off, Blair Butchart, taking the score at the mid point of the game to 5-3 for the Hills.

The start of the second half saw Hills gaining a foothold in the home twenty two. A series of forward drives found James Macgregor making good ground. Quick breakdown ball allowed Rory Harte to check out the home fringe defence which was not up to his “ show and go” skill and acceleration. The Hills stand off converted his own try and Hills were now 12-3 up. The next and third try from the visitors was scored on the 60th minute mark, and was the best of the afternoon. A home scrummage, some 35 metres out to the left of the posts, was won against the head. The ball was transferred quickly to the right flank, where full back, Conor Kelly, timed his entry to the line with perfection and straightened his angle of running to touch down unopposed.

Hills were now 17-3 ahead and beginning to look comfortable in all facets of play. Indeed Rory Harte was so “comfortable” he dallied far too long on a midfield pass which allowed his opposite number to intercept and run in untroubled to touch down between the posts. Hills were now only 1 score ahead, but the whole team buckled down to the unglamorous chores of keeping Strathmore at bay. Replacements Stuart Shilliday, Jack Cowie, George Gormall and Jonny Newton all played their parts.

Hills weathered the storm and Rory Harte added a close range penalty goal to take his side more than one score ahead. The last act of this closely contested fixture was a successful penalty goal from Butchart, the home stand off, which secured his side a deserved bonus point.

Hills next play in the shadow of BT Murrayfield at Roseburn Gardens on Saturday April 1st with a 15.00 KO. All spectators will be made very welcome.

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