Hillhead/Jordanhill 30pts Watsonians 27pts
In a highly entertaining game on the Great Western road pitch at Hughenden, “Hills” triumphed over their Edinburgh opponents by three goals and three penalty goals to three goals and two penalty goals, due largely to their performance in the game’s third quarter when they recovered from an interval deficit of thirteen to twenty points to lead by ten points with only fifteen minutes to go.
The evidence of the play in the first forty minutes hinted at a very close contest despite the Watsonians XV looking powerful in their midfield attacks with their centres, Brown and Hart, dangerous with ball in hand. Yet the “Hills” strong defence, which was a feature of their play throughout, with their captain, Stuart Ross, providing an exemplary lead, withstood the storm. Play was taken into the visitors’ half only for the defenders to concede a penalty, which Angus Twaddle converted to take his side ahead; but it was not too long before Brian Walls, a bag of tricks at the base of the visiting pack, equalised for Watsonians with his first penalty goal of the afternoon. As an aside, it was significant that the two players whose talents shone most brightly on a dull autumnal day in the west end of Glasgow were the two least physically imposing of the players on display, Angus Twaddle for the “Hills” and Brian Walls for the visitors. And it was another of the terriers on the field, the “Hills” scrum half, Haddon McPherson, who took a quick tap penalty, then sold an outrageous dummy to cross the visitors’ line unchecked to touch down by the posts with Twaddle adding the goal points. The rest of the half, however , belonged to the visitors who began to stitch together impressive sequences of continuity play, helped admittedly by the “Hills” penchant for wanting to play too much rugby in their own twenty two. The score advanced ominously to twenty points to ten for the visitors, but an excellently struck penalty from Tawddle just before the break allowed “Hills” some breathing space.
Now playing towards the Gartnavel end of the ground, the whole “Hills” team rose magnificently to the challenge of taking the game to their visitors. The line- outs were much more competitive with both Douglas Wood and Jonny Agnew being sound providers; the scrum delivery began to tighten and half backs, Twaddle and McPherson, played the game in the opposition half of the field. A wonderful pick and drive try from Stuart Ross, goaled by Twaddle, was the catalyst to the fight back, aided by another penalty goal from the stand- off. This had the “Hills” inching ahead at twenty three points to twenty, and repeated close range driving from “Joe-Joe” Stafford began to sap the strength of the Watsonians midfield defence. Continual mazy running, from Stuart Howie and the physical Ally Wright, led to further opportunities which Douglas Crichton capitalised on by crossing for try near the touch line which Angus Twaddle converted. The time which then remained in the game allowed Watsonians to test the “Hills” defence, which was put under severe pressure in the closing minutes, but conceded only the one try which, inevitably, Walls converted with ease. The final whistle sounded with the “Hills” team being warmly applauded from the field by their enthusiastic support.
The next RBS Premier 2 fixture for Hillhead/Jordanhill RFC is away at Inverleith against Stewarts Melville on Saturday the 22nd with a 15.00 hours K.O.
Hills” 1st XV – Stuart Howie, Daniel Osugo , Will Marshall, Ally Wright, Andy Leslie ( David Paterson ), Angus Twaddle, Haddon McPherson, Will Goulden ( Joe Stafford) , Joe Stafford ( Corey Buchan ) , Nick McAuley ( Will Goulden ), Douglas Wood ( Matthew Bottarini ) , Jonny Agnew ( David Fisken ) , Donald Pitkethly, Stuart Ross ( C ) and Douglas Crichton . Subs - All used