Hillhead Jordanhill 1st XV 18 points Whitecraigs 17 points

After 60 minutes of this National League 3 game played on a holding surface at Hughenden, Whitecraigs were 17 – 3 up and appeared to be cruising to victory. While Hills had opened the scoring with a well struck penalty goal, they were unable to improve on that despite having parity of first and second phase possession with the visitors. The principal difference between the sides was that Whitecraigs had a more secure defence both around the fringes and in midfield.

Yet it was not for want of effort that the Hills languished, as time after time their principal ball carriers, second rower Blair Colvin, no. 8 Calum Griffiths and centre Liam Tighe made valuable hard yards, but the support play was too slow and the delivery from the breakdown was too laboured. But if you hammer away long enough at any defence, a gap will appear. Another thunderous charge from Calum Griffiths, and then quick hands found Sean Black in space and he exploited that room beautifully to score a fine finisher’s try in the right hand corner. Although stand off and Hills captain, Rory Harte, missed the kick, the score roused the home support sufficiently from their slumbers to get behind their team at 8-17.

Some five minutes later, a similar sequence of events occurred with an initial bullocking run from Liam Tighe, taken on by Blair Colvin. Sean Black appeared again with another well timed, angled run to touch down between the posts. Rory Harte drop kicked the conversion and Hills were now within 2 points of the visitors with 3 minutes of time left.

Somehow Whitecraigs managed to steal the ball after the restart kick, and all they needed to do was to go through the phases to retain the ball and play down the clock. They tried to do that, but an outstanding piece of piracy from Hills loose head, Ross Jackson, at a rolling maul saw him emerge with the ball and race up field for some 35 metres till he was tackled. Quick passing found Rory Harte chip kicking into space. He was impeded off the ball, and a double penalty was awarded.

The Hills stand off chose to kick from the longer distance of the 10 metre line, but straight in front of the posts rather than from some 15 metres out and towards the right hand touchline. The kicker kept his focus to drill the ball unerringly between the uprights to take his team to victory, the match referee blowing for no side immediately. So the second consecutive Hughenden Saturday where a last minute score has determined the outcome.

Hills now face two very tough away fixtures, the first in Aberdeen against Gordonians on Saturday October 22 with a 15.00 KO. On Saturday October 29, the Club visits Orkney.



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