Jed-Forest 13pts Hillhead/Jordanhill 6 pts
Despite the high work rate from both teams and the intensity of the play at Riverside park, there was too little continuity and too few line breaks from either side in this RBS Premier 2 fixture to make this a memorable game and excite the supporters. Yet the final outcome remained in doubt until the end when the “Jed” replacement, Michael Weekly, made his way over the line to take his side into a 13 pts to 6 lead. Fortunately for the “Hills”, who were understandably anxious to take something from the game, Hogg missed his touchline conversion, allowing the visitors to leave with a losing bonus point.
The game was too fractured in terms of stoppages with a total of thirty two no. penalties being awarded - interestingly sixteen against each team - for a variety of technical offences and hence there was little dynamism evident in the proceedings. When “Jed” were able to play their “A” game, inevitably it would be their No. 8 Darren Gillespie, who would be at the heart of matters with his aggressive pick-ups and his thrust across the gain line. The visitors’ defence, both at the fringes and in the midfield, was generally robust enough for most of the game to resist ; and on other occasions the “Jed” handling was poor. “Hills” attacks were more reliant on the individual talents of Haddon Macpherson at scrum half, full back Angus Twaddle, stand –off Stuart Howie and left winger Andy Leslie for making ground, but the ability to work through the phases of possession were not well enough developed to stretch the “Jed “ defence.
The score after forty minutes was 5-3 for the home side with Gillespie scoring after a series of attacks in the “Hills” twenty two with Twaddle replying with a well struck penalty after 38 minutes. “Hills” edged ahead after some 50 minutes with another Twaddle penalty goal only for Hogg to cancel out the lead with his only successful goal kick of the afternoon. The final quarter saw “Jed” take a territorial stranglehold in the visitors “red zone” with the “Hills” unable to lift the siege with any great conviction. Hogg’s missed conversion of Weekly’s try was the final action of the afternoon. Mention should be made of Paul Sheerin’s outstanding forty five minute shift as replacement prop in the “Hills” front row, while the other “intersting” statistic was the fact the two players who were most influential in the proceedings, Macpherson for “Hills” and Gillespie for “Jed”, were each yellow carded.
Next Saturday, the “Hills” travel to Falkirk for the third consecutive away fixture of the pre-split group of eleven games.
“Hills” 1st XV – Angus Twaddle, Daniel Osugo ( Kirk James-Williams ) , Chris Butler, Ally Wright, Andy Leslie, Stuart Howie, Haddon McPherson, Joe Stafford ( Paul Sheerin ), Corey Buchan ( Joe Stafford ) , Will Goulden, Johnny Agnew , Douglas Wood , Donald Pitkethly, Stuart Ross ( Captain ) and Douglas Crichton. Subs – Douglas Grove