The Hills are alive… with the winning of silverware

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Hillhead/Jordanhill head coach Aird Jardine and captain Louise McMillan have praised the squad and the support staff after they retained the top flight title by defeating Stirling County on Sunday.

The Glasgow side have led the way from early on in this shortened Tennent’s Women’s Premier League campaign and made sure of finishing in top spot by seeing off County 29-5 at Hughenden in section A.

McMillan, the Scotland player, led the way with two tries with Abi Evans, Mairi McDonald and Emma Barlow crossing in the bonus point victory with Amanda Moore kicking two conversions.

Jardine said:  “Stirling again gave us a very tough test with their defence proving very difficult to break down in the first half.

Hills champions 2018

“However, as the game went on we kept our composure and started to play some excellent team rugby.

“The players have put an enormous amount of work on and off the pitch as we knew retaining the title was not going to be easy. They thoroughly deserve everything they have achieved as it has come down to their hard work and commitment.

“This is my first time as head coach with a senior team in a competitive league. I have coached at Biggar RFC for many years from the youth section up to the women’s team.

“I had to apply for the coaching post at Hills during summer and went through a robust recruitment process. I was then fortunate enough to be offered the position. I have had a great support from the backroom team with Tonci Buzoz and Rory Harte helping me throughout the season and alsp great help from the Hills under-18 coach Ritchie Bruce.

“The physio team have also been great as well with Aoife O’Shea, Doireann Church, Fiona Gassner and Christopher O’Cuinn making sure the players have been well looked after. Heather Lockhart has been a stalwart on and off the pitch which has been a great support.

“And the continued commitment from the committee at Hillhead/Jordanhill RFC towards women’s rugby has to be noted.

“It has been a pleasure and great fun to coach the women this year as their attitude and determination to keep on improving has been very rewarding as a coach.

“Moreover there are some really talented players within this squad.

“I am obviously delighted we have won the league. I am aware that I am a young coach [22] and still have a lot to learn, but I am looking forward to building on what we have just achieved.”

McMillan, the 21-year-old back-row, stated:  “On Sunday we got another bonus point win, but it was a hard fought match. We stayed patient and were able to crack through Stirling’s defence.

“Although not all of our peformances have been pretty this season, we’ve stayed determined and hungry for victory. I’m incredibly proud of what the girls have achieved as before the season we lost many key players from previous seasons and have had new girls step up and take responsibility.

“This team is still very much building and we are still very much up for the game this Sunday [away to Watsonians]. We have been undefeated so far this season and we intend to keep it that way.”

Hillhead logo

The result leaves Hills seven points ahead of second placed Watsonians who themselves defeated Corstorphine Cougars at Union Park on the same day.

New arrival Megan Gaffney led the way for Watsonians from full-back in the 58-0 triumph, the Scotland cap running in a hat-trick of tries.

Sarah Jones, Nicola Nightingale, Emma Evans, Charlotte Runcie, Panashe Muzambe, Bryony Nelson and Abbie Baillie crossed for tries too with Nightingale kicking four conversions.

The top flight finishes this Sunday with three games, the Watsonians against Hills clash looking the tastiest.

Hills win league

What does 2019 bring?

Scottish Rugby has confirmed the league placings for the 2019 Tennent’s Women’s Leagues and opened up a consultation process with women’s clubs from across Scotland to develop the structure for new league and cup competitions.

Clubs have now been asked to review two viable options for how the league and cup competitions will be run. This includes agreeing on start dates for the respective competitions, as well as if cup competitions should be run as national or regional pools.

Scottish Rugby is keen to ensure stakeholders feel part of the process, therefore all clubs have been asked to respond promptly so that the next stage in the process can be delivered.


Ayr, Cartha Queens Park, Corstorphine Cougars, Hillhead Jordanhill, Stirling County and Watsonians.

National One:

Annan, Broughton, Garioch, Glasgow University, Heriot’s, Howe of Fife, Oban Lorne and Stewartry.

Broughton v Greenock by Rugby People


Falkirk, Grangemouth, Kelso, Kirkcaldy, Liberton, Lismore, Livingston and RDVC.


Aberdeenshire, Huntly, Inverness, Orkney, Peterhead, Shetland and Stornoway.


Ardrossan Academicals, Biggar, Greenock, Hamilton, West of Scotland and Wigtownshire.

Scotland Women v Canada advert

Thanks to Hills and Rugby People for the images

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