Whitecraigs 26pts Hillhead/Jordanhill 20 pts
After 40 minutes, “Hills” were in control of this game leading by twenty points to seven, but thereafter their hosts raised their game considerably to run in nineteen unanswered second half points to win this vital league fixture and record a five pointer, having scored four tries to “Hills” three. The early plays were all Whitecraigs, but Moffat missed a penalty to allow the visitors some breathing space to take the action into the Craigs half. Good line out work from Jonny Agnew allowed scrum half, Haddon Macpherson, to begin probing the competence of the home defence, and from breakdown infringement, Andrew Leslie kicked a penalty to open the scoring for the visitors. Slackness in their fringe defence at the breakdown by “Hills” allowed the home pack to mount a series of charges at the try line, and eventually Moffat found sufficient space to barge through and touch down for a try which he converted. The second quarter of the game saw “Hills” virtually in total command with good work from Fisken and Agnew on the touchline, solid scrummaging and aggressive mauling. Nick McAuley ran well following a typical Macpherson burst through the home defence to score in the corner. Clever lead up play from no.10, Cammy McCulloch, created an attacking platform from which Will Marshall went over for a close range try which Andy Leslie converted, and then from a Macpherson sleight of hand and a suggestion of a forward pass, captain Joe Stafford cantered in to score between the posts. Unfortunately, Andrew Leslie skewed the conversion, but all present were more than happy with their interval lead.
Thereafter, the visitors’ concentration levels began to falter, and Whitecraigs to their credit came back into the game. Where before the interval there had been security on the touchline for “Hills”, the second forty minutes witnessed a serious decline in fortunes with a catalogue of errors. Elsewhere balls were either spilled or lost in contact, and chances which were created by wingers, Chris Butler and Andrew Leslie, were passed up. The game began to drift inexorably away from the “Hills” as did their attention to basic defensive chores, although Douglas Crichton made two brave saves in securing loose ball on the deck. The momentum was now firmly with Whitecraigs and it was no surprise when they overtook the “Hills” with their third try of the half to lead twenty six points to twenty with five minutes left. It could have been worse as Moffat had a kickable penalty to take Whitecraigs nine points clear and thereby deny “Hills” a losing bonus , but the ball’s flight was to the right of the uprights. Typical of their second half play, the visitors made a mess of trying to run the ball back at the opposition and their final chance was lost. At final whistle, an elated Whitecraigs squad left the playing area ; the “Hills” and their supporters were rightly dejected.
“Hills” next game in Premier C is at Hughenden on the 18th February against their close rivals West of Scotland FC ; the fixture against Kelso at Poynder Park has been rescheduled for the 25th February. On the 11th February there is a friendly against Greenock Wanderes at Fort Matilda, as neither of the Clubs has a league game that day; kick-off time at the Tail of the Bank is to be confirmed.
Hills” 1st XV – Stuart Howie, , Chris Butler , Will Marshall , Ally Wright, Andy Leslie , Cameron McCulloch , Haddon McPherson, Will Goulden, Joe Stafford ( C ) ( Corey Buchan ) , Nick McAuley ( Paul Sheerin ), David Fisken , Chris Tulloch ( Jonny Agnew ) , Jonny Agnew ( David Mitchell ) , Douglas Wood and Douglas Crichton . Subs Andrew Davidson