HILLFOOTS RFC......................22


Tennent's Caledonia Region League, Division 1

IT WAS back to Tillicoultry this week for the Hillfoots men.

After a successful week away from home, 'Foots were hopeful of gaining back to back victories for the first time this season.

This week's opponents were Blairgowrie who started the game one position above Hillfoots in the league.

The Hillfoots boys were struck a blow before the game with a couple of late changes causing some unwanted disruption to the coaching team just before kick off. However, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Hillfoots started well, but struggled to capitalise on their opportunities. An early break from the returning Andrew Hamilton led to flying winger Danny Ross almost scoring in the corner.

Unfortunately, the referee had struggled to keep up with play and couldn't confirm if the ball had been grounded correctly.

No luck for Ross, playing his first game in 15 months after a long journey back from injury.

The early pressure applied from the Hillfoots pack had Blairgowrie struggling and in particular at scrum time dominance was shown.

The first score came from a push-over scrum, with number 8 Gavin Spowage the man to put the ball down, but some credit must go to the seven men in front of him for the try.

This was the last act of the game for Spowage who was forced off due to a recurring injury after 10 minutes.

Hillfoots continued to pressure Blairgowrie, but impatience or mistakes meant that many opportunities were missed.

Eventually Elliot Chadwick scored the team's second out wide after a barrelling run by Elliot Firth and some sharp hands in the backs.

Playing up the hill in the second half, more good play by Firth led to Fraser Christie ghosting past three bamboozled defenders before offloading to the strong-running Hamilton who dotted down under the posts.

The conversion was added by John McMurdo for a 17-0 cushion.

Blairgowrie were offering little in attack and Hillfoots' defence was holding strong.

The hunt for the bonus point try was proving fruitless, however, until sharp play from full-back Brad Bell led to replacement winger Barry Munro scoring a hugely popular try in the corner.

Given that Munro had only been drafted into the team at the eleventh hour to make his 1st XV debut for the season, this was fairy-tale stuff.

The full-time whistle blew soon afterwards and hostilities ceased as the teams shook hands.

What was most pleasing for the coaching staff was the defensive display shown from the Hillfoots team who had youngsters making their season's debuts and others playing out of position.

The 22-0 victory ensures the team move further away from the relegation zone.

Next week Hillfoots make the short trip to title challengers Dunfermline

It is sure to be a big challenge, but with Hillfoots boasting a 100 per cent record for 2020 they will be confident of a result.

The 2nd XV have a home fixture against Arbroath, with a 2pm kick-off.