Greenock Wanderers 0 pts Hillhead/Jordanhill 12 pts
In the second of their pre-season games played at Fort Matilda, “Hills” eventually overcame a very stuffy Wanderers side to record a hard earned twelve point victory. In the first half, the visitors had the advantage of playing with a stiff breeze, but were unable to build any attacking phases due to a lack of a stable scrummage platform, and an absence of ball from the touchline, where the Greenock second row, Matt Gray, enjoyed a field day. Indeed, the Wanderers should have been at least two tries ahead at the interval, but a lack of patience close to the “Hills” try line cost them dear.
With some half time encouragement from the coaching team of Derek Busby and Colin Dickson, the “Hills” produced a much better performance. Changes in the shape of the forwards saw the vastly undernourished Joe Stafford move to loose head prop with Blair Mckenzie, happily restored to health, adding his understated bulk to tight head. In between them the “diminutive” hooker, Aidan McMillan, must have felt like the spam in a Desperate Dan sandwich, but the pack started to grind and move the Greenock eight backwards. Signs of continuity in their play with the catalyst Haddon McPherson at scrum half led to a good try from newcomer Ian Howie who ran well when given some space in midfield. In the injury absence of the effervescent Angus Twaddle, Jonny Agnew converted. Some further good linking play produced a try for Andrew Leslie down the left channel; and that was effectively that. Hard as Greenock tried for a score, it remained elusive on a day when rain and wind were the real winners and reminded everyone again that climate affects the way the game is played. It was good, however, to be back at Fort Matilda to join in the post match bonhomie.
Next Saturday , the 20th August, “Hills” 1st and 2nd XV’s make the short journey to Braidholm to play their GHA counterparts in the final pre- season warm up games. For further details and news , please visit www.hjrfc.com