This was a very tense game from its start with
a sizeable crowd ringing the touchlines of the great Western Road pitch, but unfortunately the quality of performance
from the "Hills" dipped below that of previous games. There was little continuity in play due to the
frequency of unenforced errors with the "Hills" handling being particularly error prone throughout and
tenacious tackling of the visiting Selkirk team, some of whom had been playing at the Gala sevens less than 24
hours previously. "Hills" sparked into life only very occasionally through the individual efforts of
their half backs, and it was Stuart Howie who came closest to scoring on a long mazy run through the visiting ranks,
which was cut short just five metres from the try line. It was the home no. 10 who provided the only score of the
first half with a penalty from in front of the posts, and the half time scoreline of 3 points to nil was a poor
return for the home team having had the bulk of possession and territory.
Selkirk had the advantage of the wind in the second half, but could make little headway through the home defence
despite the touchline efforts of their main jumper, Rory Aglen, and the incisive running of Clapperton. "Hills"
reverted to a restricted game and profited from a maul some 10 metres from the Selkirk line which rolled its way
to the try line with the powerful Joe Stafford in control. "Hills" were now eight points ahead with the
final quarter of the match to play, but never looked totally convincing against a very plucky Selkirk side who
made up for their lack of physical prowess with a spirited performance. The final score of the season fell once
again to Joe Stafford who sprinted over the line unopposed from some ten metres. The score owed its origins, however,
to the "Hills" young player of the year, second rower Jonny Agnew, whose explosive midfield tackle released
the ball to the predatory Haddon Macpherson, who scampered up the narrow side to link with Will Goulden who put
his fellow behemoth, Joe-Joe Stafford, in for the clinching score.
And that was it for the "Hills" and their supporters at the end of a season which began with four consecutive
away games, and thereafter the first "home" game at New Anniesland ; a first win against Watsonians since
1972; and many gutsy performances. This survival win against Selkirk provides the promise in season 2012/2013 on
their new Hughenden pitch of the very first National league games against both Glasgow Hawks and Hawick: a prospect
which will make the pre-season training in July all the more worthwhile.
From a Selkirk perspective it has been a difficult and disappointing end to the League season with a severely depleted
squad through injury and unavailability. However, Sunday's performance showed a gutsy commitment from everyone
involved. The young players defended really well and restricted a "Hills" team, fighting for their survival,
to only a couple of tries.