Cartha QP 5pts Hillhead/Jordanhill 15 pts
In a game full of commitment from both sides played on a heavy Dumbreck pitch, “Hills” just shaded a win in this quarter final tie in the West regional cup. This was never going to be a game for purists given the fact this was the first competitive game for seven weeks for the home side and for nine weeks for the visitors with the holiday indulgences adding to both Club’s problems. “Hills” had the benefits of the wind in the first half which did not seem to assist as much as it might have done, and in the second of the home team forwards’ indiscretions which resulted in three yellow cards being awarded. Little advantage was gained, however, by the “Hills” as the effects of the long lay off, the heavy pitch and the fierce engagement from the Cartha QP pack in the set piece had taken its toll on the visitors’ attacks.
For the first thirty minutes, the Cartha QP team looked the livelier, making progress from their driving scrum and direct charges from Williamson and Harvey in the loose. But the break through did not occur due to goodish “Hills” tackling, and some wrong options; instead it occurred via a fortunate “Hills” charge down and a hack and chase from the livewire Haddon McPherson which allowed flying winger, Andy Leslie, to touch down in the left hand corner. Will Marshall added a penalty to take “Hills” to eight points up at the interval. Despite several positional changes and substitutions, “Hills” lost momentum in the third quarter and allowed the home team, well marshalled by Andi Black in the stand off position, to dictate play and produce a fine team score by Noble in the right hand corner. Indeed, Cartha QP could really have wounded the “Hills”, but fatally knocked on at the base of a close range driving scrummage to allow the “Hills” to escape. The home team were now short handed, and, after a series of close range charges, Will Goulden finally made it over the line for a try which Andy Leslie converted to take the “Hills” ten points ahead with fifteen minutes left. Try as hard as they might, Cartha, because of their numerical disadvantage, were unlikely to embarrass their visitors, and the game played out to its inevitable conclusion with “Hills” the victors and thereby securing an away tie in the next round against Glasgow Hawks on the 21st January. The perceived wisdom in the post match banter was that both Clubs had benefitted from the valuable game time, and the clubhouse was doing well from the custom.
“Hills” next game is at HUGHENDEN on Saturday the 14th vs FALKIRK, kick-off at 14.00 hours, in the first of the seven last remaining Premier C league games. Club coaches, Derek Busby and Colin Dickson, are anxious for as much support as possible for the “Hills” players.
n Hills” 1st XV – Stuart Howie, Daniel Osugo , Chris Butler , Will Marshall ( David Mitchell ) , Andy Leslie , Cameron McCulloch ( Will Marshall ) , Haddon McPherson, Craig Watson ( Joe Stafford ) , Joe Stafford ( C ) ( Corey Buchan ) , Will Goulden, Jonny Agnew, David Fisken ( Chris Tulloch ) , Donald Pitkethly ( Mati Bottarini ) Douglas Grove ( Douglas Wood) and Douglas Crichton . Subs All used