Hillhead/Jordanhill 11pts Whitecraigs 14pts
On a beautifully prepared New Anniesland playing surface, neither of the two sides, “Hills” or Whitecraigs, could have been happy with their performance in an error strewn game which was also fragmented due to numerous stoppages for injuries, one of which required Craig Watson, “Hills” loose head prop, to be taken to hospital with a worrying knee injury. The final scoreline hints at a very tight match, but the reality was that Whitecaigs dominated the frontal exchanges and had territorial advantage for most of the game without ever being able to put a dogged “Hills” side away, such was their commitment to defensive chores. “Hills” lived off scraps of possession, apart from the second quarter of the game when they should have scored from an extended period of pressure on the visitors’ line, but failed. Also, a memorable David Paterson clean break from 40 meters out should have led to a score but the opportunity was lost. Daniel Osugo looked the part on his right wing beat, but the ball supply to him dried up. It seemed like Whitecraigs would edge the first period by six points, Moffat’s two penalty goals, to Twaddle’s counter, but some poor “Hills” defence at a line out in their twenty two allowed the big Craigs forwards to rumble effectively over the try line with Laidlaw touching down.
The third quarter was enlivened for the “Hills” support with a wonderful individual score from “Hills” left winger, Stuart Howie, who had some considerable work to do when he received some good ball just in the opposition half. He moved well through his gears to round his opposite number and evade at least two other Craigs players to touch down in the left hand corner. The usually reliable Gus Twaddle failed with his conversion attempt, but any momentum “Hills” hoped to gain from this score quickly evaporated under the stranglehold of the Whitecraigs pack. It was noted that Whitecraigs squad contained some four serving police officers, and “Hills” were unable to escape from their handcuffs. Moffat edged his team further ahead, but Twaddle replied to retain “Hills” interest in the outcome. Certainly, the final five minutes of the game saw “Hills” put some pressure on the visitors line, but there was only “huffing and puffing “ to show for it, and even Twaddle’s metronomic boot failed to answer his call when a last minute penalty sailed past the posts. The game ended with a narrow but deserved win for visitors, Whitecraigs, in what was the first league match between the two clubs since the start of the domestic competitions. “Hills” therefore maintained their bonus point gathering ; a win is not too far away.
Hills” 1st XV – Angus Twaddle, Daniel Osugo , Will Marshall, Ally Wright, Stuart Howie, David Paterson , Andrew Leslie, Craig Watson ( Joe Stafford ) , Joe Stafford ( Corey Buchan ) , Will Goulden ( Blair McKenzie ) , Johnny Agnew , David Fisken , Donald Pitkethly, Douglas Wood ( Douglas Grove ) and Douglas Crichton. Subs Chris Butler