Sarah Beaney Cup: Hillhead Jordanhill take important step towards final

Hard fought win over Heriot's Blues maintains Highenden side's 100 percent record in this season's competition

Hillhead Jordanhill won at Heriot's Blues on Sunday. Image: Peter Watt
Hillhead Jordanhill won at Heriot's Blues on Sunday. Image: Peter Watt

HILLHEAD JORDANHILL made it four bonus point wins from four in the Sarah Beaney Cup group stage on Sunday by toughing out a win away to Heriot’s Blues. And, in the other match played, Stirling County ran in 12 tries in their triumph at Cartha Queens Park.

Returning Celtic Challenge players made a difference for both Heriot’s and Hills at Goldenacre, although it was Hills who eventually took control of the match to run out  29-19 winners, to take another big step towards next month’s final on Super Saturday at Murrayfield.

Hannah Dunnett, Glasgow Warrior ⁠Roma Fraser, ⁠Frances Campbell, captain Hannah Telling and Brogan Carberry were the try scorers for Hillhead Jordanhill, while Carla McDonald and Millie Warren added one conversion apiece.

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“It was a really good, competitive game from start to finish between two teams eager and able to play in some tricky conditions,” said Hillhead Jordanhill head coach Stephen Gillies. “The dangerous Heriot’s backline in particular were a pleasure to watch in full flow at points. We’re very happy with how we started, reacted in the middle part of the match and then, ultimately, finished.

“As a coach it was good to see our players adapt the game plan throughout, not only to the conditions, but also to the opponents. There were lots of positives and continued momentum to take us into our next match versus Cougars [on March 23rd].”

Co-captain Pearl Kellie, Hannah Riddoch and Lisa Martin scored tries for Heriot’s Blues with the latter converting two of them.

“There was plenty to be positive about overall, but we drifted slightly in the second and failed to capitalise on territory and possession,” said head coach Craig Robertson. “We managed to get over the try line on two further occasions to our tries, but the ball was deemed to be held up. Hills defended well and kept us on the back foot for a large part of the second half meaning we couldn’t get our momentum back.”

Hills are now second in the table on 20 points with Heriot’s fourth on 10 while Stirling County are fifth on 10 points too after they made it two wins from three.

They were at Dumbreck to take on a stretched Cartha squad and, with some returning Celtic Challenge players involved for the visitors, County took control early on.

In the end the match was brought to a halt just after the hour mark with the score at 76-3 due to injuries in the Cartha ranks. Sky Phimister and Sam Taganekurukuru, fresh from their Glasgow and Edinburgh Rugby experiences respectively, led the way with three tries apiece. Heather Davis, Claudia McLaren, Fi Keys, Ceitidh Ainsworth (2) and Rachel Cox also crossed with Ainsworth kicking eight conversions.

“The team were fired up to produce a good performance and we looked composed with ball in hand,” said Stirling head coach Mark Ainsworth. “Thankfully we got through the game with no injuries ahead of the upcoming challenge at Cougars [March 17th].”

Kimmi Renicks kicked the points from Cartha, who are bottom of the pool having lost five from five, and their head coach Ally Hunter said:  “We are disappointed with the result, but it was always going to be a challenge with a limited squad and then the injuries we picked up against a full-strength County side who showed why they are the top team in the country.

“There were plenty of ‘small wins’ for us, however, and we now put the focus on to the Garioch game [on March 23rd].”

  • At the end of the seven-team pool stage, the top two will play in the final as part of Silver Saturday on April 27th at Murrayfield.

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About Gary Heatly 455 Articles
Gary has loved rugby ever since he can remember and since 2004 he has covered the sport and others in a professional capacity for many publications and websites and runs his own company, GH Media.

1 Comment

  1. It’s going to be very tight as to which 2 Clubs end up contesting the Cup final.

    It’s unfortunate that neither Cartha nor Garioch have been able to make much of a challenge in this Cup competition.

    Certainly the Women’s Premier league needs a strong show from both of these Clubs to make the 5 others work harder for their wins.

    For the immediate health of the women’s Club game in Scotland we do need a competitive top 7, better if it were 8 or even 10.

    Here’s hoping !!

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