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Match against Hillhead/Jordanhill (30-Mar-2013)

Date: Saturday, 30th March 2013
Kickoff time: 15:00
Against: Hillhead/Jordanhill
Team: Hawks 1st XV
Location: Home
Final score: 13 - 7 (won)



of unpleasant or unsightly appearance;

repulsive, objectionable, or displeasing in any way ⇒ war is ugly;

ominous or menacing ⇒ an ugly situation;

bad-tempered, angry, or sullen ⇒ an ugly mood

That is how the dictionary defines it, as Hawks won "ugly" against Hills over the course of a tense 80 minutes at Old Anniesland.
Yet for the players and coaches there was nothing Unpleasant or Unsightly about it in fact it was a feeling of great joy and tremendous pleasure.
For the supporters, biting fingernails, it was not Repulsive or Objectionable,nothing Ominous or Menacing and there was absolutely nothing Sullen about the occassion. But it was ugly, as Hawks looked nervous when they took the pitch, knowing, that an 18 match season which began with a narrow win against Watsonians in August had come down to 80 minutes of rugby against local rivals.
Early play was edgy, but the home side started as they had all season ambitiously putting the ball wide to try to use the pace of Tony Herron and Jono Wright. Early play saw a number of knock ons and Hills put in some strong tackles letting Hawks know that they had no intention of making up the numbers.
In 5 minutes Herron appeared to have broken through only to be tackled into touch.
In 10 minutes a penalty on the visitors 10 metre line was kicked to touch by Andy White. Hawks looked good as they took the lineout in a strong attacking position but Hills stole the ball with an excellent clean steal and a subsequent penalty for Hawks straying offside allowed Hills to clear with ease.
Hills showed some adventure but stand-off AJ Macfarlane struggled to get his back-line moving at pace and Hawks defence were up quickly smothering any threat. A break by Mike Adamson on the quarter hour mark, took Hawks deep into Hills half. With Grant Strang popping up in support, the flanker to the ball on up into the Hills 22. Unfortunately for Hawks, a ball to White saw an untypical knock-on with the line in sight. Hills cleared following the scrum.
Nerves were still on display, on two occassions the ball had gone wide only for poor passing to stop the score with Wright having to take one at boot height and another flew past his reach going into touch.
Hills seemed to take heart rom this as their first real chance saw the ball passed to wing Daniel Osugo, who seemed to have a clear route for the line but he was tackled short of the line and shepherded into touch.
The Hawks breakthrough finally came from the boot of Adamson as he put a penalty or offside over on the hal hour mark. (3-0)
Amongst the support there was a clear sense of relief but the fragile lead wasn't enough to calm nerves completely. Hawks tried to raise their tempo but a lack of discipline saw them concede a penalty at a ruck and allowed Hills to clear.
The home side continued to pile on the pressure but Hills soaked it up. A series of picks and drives saw the team held out about 5 metres out. Sean Yacoubian took the ball from the base of the ruck and put the pass to White in midfield. Prop, John Lohoar took the ball on before put the ball to Steven Findlay who was in close support. Tackled short, Findlay popped the ball to skipper, Ross Miller, who hovering on the wing, ran over the line with the presence of mind to round behind the posts before touching down. Adamson converts and after 35 minutes the supporters breathed a lot more easily. (10-0)
Before the half the stand-side linesman called a dangerous tip tackle against Hills Joe Stafford and the hooker was lucky not to receive a yellow card.
Early in the second half Hawks suffered a blow, when full-back Mike Adamson put a kick in behind Hills midfield, only to pull up with a torn hamstring playing no further part in the game. Hadden McPherson came on, moving to the wing as Jono Wright headed to full-back.
Just before the 50 minute mark, Hills veteran McFarlane, received a yellow card. With White stroking over the subsequent penalty Hawks pulled further ahead. (13-0)
Strangely, dropping to 14 men, saw Hills look at their most threatening. Hills seemd to break though in 56 minutes only to be let down by a knock on when a try seemd inevitable. Hills wing Osugo posed the biggest threat and it took a couple of desperate tackles to rein him in.
The match was staggering to a positive conclusion but there remained an air of menace as the tension racked up. In 75 minutes lock Rory McKay received a yellow card, penalised by the referee for the persistent infringement by the pack. The penalty took Hills deep into Hawks 22 and from the recycled break down, veteran AJ Mcarlane strolled across the line evading the covering tackle and scoring the try. With Angus Twaddle converting, Hills were within a score with 4 minutes left on the clock. (13-7)
Hawks tried to pick up the pace but were panicking as mis-passes and nervy possession put there season under threat. Hills sensed an upset and in the closing minute broke. It was here that Hawks defence showed the defiance which has defined their spirit all season. McFarlane's attack was halted dead as the the ball fell from his hands in the power o the tackle.
The season ended in the pack, as the ball came back and Yacoubian put a kick into touch. Sealing the wind and securing the Championship.
One of the great sporting cliches is that it is the sign of a good side that plays poorly and wins. This is a good side.
Glasgow Hawks are Champions, returning directly to the top flight at the first time of asking. A side moulded on the rugby pitches of the National League, winning local derbies, battles in the Borders and a reflection of the vision of the coaches and the desire of the players themselves.
Simply put, JOB DONE!

Team list for this match
Andy White
Callum Kerr
David Milne
Grant Strang
Haddon Mcpherson
Jack Macfarlane
John Lohar
Jono Wright
Paul Henderson
Peter Redmayne
Sean Yacoubian
Stephen Leckey
Steven Findlay
Tom Steven
Tony Herron

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