Hillfoots Weekly News 3 Feb

 

 

Last Week in Review

We were lucky to have had some good weather on Saturday in Tilly Park, where the 1st XV had a comprehensive victory over Falkirk RFC 2nd XV, while the Rams had a difficult away trip up to Arbroath.  Meanwhile on Sunday, the Juniors had fun training in the Park and the Youth played with Falkirk against a strong Grangemouth side in a fantastic real end-to-end match.

We are fortunate to have had some great coverage in Scrum Magazine – one article focusing on the Slade Brother front row, copied below and another focusing on the Club, which I will copy next week!  Hopefully you will be able to get your hands on a hard copy!

I do not think that I have ever been this excited about a 6 Nations tournament!  There is so little between each of the teams that it could be anyone’s!  Will it be Scotland who will lift it despite their long injury list?  Wales are in a difficult position too.  Can France or Italy pull it out of the bag, they are so unpredictable that they are nightmare for any opposition to plan against!  You can never discount England – but let’s face it every Celt will be on the other side!  I’m sure you have guessed who I will be supporting!

Finally, huge thanks to Mike Power, who has managed to get a bumper allocation of tickets for the Club this year!  We are always over-subscribed and he does an outstanding job ensuring that you can get to see world-class rugby at both home and away fixtures. 

Paddy ☘️

 

Slade brothers have front-row seats at Hillfoots

Gary Heatly, from Scrum Magazine, catches up with three brothers who are enjoying playing in the same Hillfoots team in the front-row:

We often hear that when a team is successful your team mates feel like family, but there is a team going well in BT Caledonia League Division Two Midlands who have three players who are family and whose team are winning!

Hillfoots are top of the table after 12 matches following their 86-10 win against the Stirling County third XV on January 13.

And the Slade brothers – loosehead prop Paul, hooker Keith and tighthead prop Michael – have been enjoying recent months now that they are all in  the front-row.

Paul: “I wish I could say that we do squabble, but the pitch is the one place I listen to my older brothers!”

Paul, 29, said: “I started playing Hillfoots when I was 8 with my brothers who got me into rugby along with our father who always supported us.

From an early age I fell in love the sport mostly because of the social aspect, but the brotherhood you feel with your team mates on and off the park was probably the reason I have stuck with it.

“I made my first XV debut in 2007 in an away fixture against Ardrossan, this was significant for all the Slade brothers as it was the first time we had all played together since we started playing.

“This season has been especially special for us all as Keith had been playing with Falkirk for the past few seasons and Michael at Lenzie, but we had decided we wanted one last season together.

“However, the concept of an entire Slade front-row is a new one as Michael used to play back-row until recently so even though we used to play regularly years ago, Michael had only joined me and Keith in the front-row this season.

“Saturday, January 6 was the first time ALL three Slade brothers were able to play at the same time this season with injuries or work commitments keeping it from happening, so it was a very proud moment binding up for that first scrum made even more special with the home supporters cheering us on shouting ‘Come on the Slades’.

“I wish I could say that we do squabble, but the pitch is the one place I listen to my older brothers!

I trust their judgment and any advice they give me on the park, but mostly we are very supportive of each other and look out for one another.”

Keith, 32, recounted: “I joined the club when I was in primary school after seeing some posters that were put around the school.

“The reason I love rugby hasn’t changed much since I was younger , I love being part of a team and also the whole rugby community, love taking and making contact and making friends for life from all walks of life and all over the world.

“Being quite big for my age I made my senior debut for the club’s seconds at 14 and I was 15 when I got into the firsts.

“I am always proud to be on the same park as my brothers, but it has made it more special now that we all play in the front-row!

“The decision of myself and Michael to move back to Hillfoots [from  other clubs] was appreciated by our dad who was sick of travelling to three different clubs to watch us play!

“Being brothers we trust each other so it makes us a tight unit and I know at scrum time or in open play they’ll do their job.

“I am probably the biggest speaker, sometimes I even make sense! We always chat to each other at rugby and away from rugby we’re pretty close.”

Oldest of the three Michael, 35, said: “Whilst I played football, badly, at school, it wasn’t until a friend suggested that I try rugby that I found a sport that I loved.

“There were about four or five of us that played with the seconds that first year and every weekend was an adventure playing with the legends and great characters of the club.

“These same guys are still down the club to this day watching and sharing stories and in my opinion are the backbone to any successful rugby club.

“I made my first XV in 1998 against Linlithgow in a Cup game.

“Playing with my brothers is always a proud moment. It’s only happened a few times in the past since three of us haven’t always played with the same team.

“The first time was 2007 against Ardrossan. I am a fairly recent convert to the front-row, normally playing back-row,  but age and injuries have taken their toll over the years and my legs no longer have the speed they used to – better to be a fast prop than a slow back-row!

“We’ve never had an argument on the park and it’s always handy having the other two watching your back especially when they are both bigger than me!

“I would recommend Hillfoots to anyone who is a fan of rugby. We have hard working coaching staff and dedicated players at both senior and junior level, but equally the team behind the social events work very hard to ensure that everyone is made welcome.”

The 1st XV v Falkirk 2nd XV

After the snow affecting the fixtures schedule, Hillfoots XV were raring to go and to get playing rugby again. They hosted Falkirk 2nd XV, in a muchly anticipated game due to importance of every game to the Hillfoots campaign. The wind began to pick up an hour before the game and persisted well into the second half, so both teams had to adjust their approach to the game to suit the conditions. The first half saw Falkirk take advantage of a mistake and they began to mount pressure on the Hillfoot’s defence and push them back well into the 22. However, this pressure was not converted, with some great defensive work from the ‘Foots.  The hosts began to counter-attack and play more tactically making their own advances up the field. After a series of well worked phases, Hillfoots opened their account and scored a total of four tries in the first half, with two converted finishing up with a scoreline of 24-0 at the end of the half.

The second half began brightly for both teams.  Falkirk changed their strategy and began to build some momentum with increasing pressure on the ‘Foots defensive line. As the wind persisted the hosts needed to use alternative methods to gain territory, as some kicks were attempted with little success. The hosts used their skill set and game management to soak up bouts of significant pressure by turning over the ball several times deep in their own territory and then scoring with a few neatly executed phases. The stalwart defence ensured that the visitors were unable to put any points on the board, but they showed some defensive resilience in an effort to keep the scoreline down. However, the Hillfoot’s attack constantly probed for every weaknesses and managed to put another four tries over the line. The game ended with a final score of 55-0 and now the Hillfoots XVs prepare to travel to Panmure where both Hillfoots teams are playing.

The 1sts take on Panmure, while the Rams are playing Dundee Medics, both KO’s are at 12.15pm to allow everyone to cheer on the Scotland team in Cardiff.  Thanks again for all of our great local support – we hope to entertain you all again on 17 Feb with a 3pm kick off.

 

This weekend’s Action:

Saturday:

  • 1st XV are away to Panmure RFC and the Rams are away to the Uni of Dundee Medics – please meet at 9am.
  • The Club will be open to watch the matches on the big screen – come down to shout on Scotland!

Sunday:

  • Juniors and Youth are home training in the Park from 10am.