Before this game started, the home crowd were hoping for the team returning to winning ways. For the first 20 minutes, however, it did not look like this was going to happen.
Indeed, at the end of that first period, home supporters considered themselves lucky to be in front after Greg Raeburn had kicked two penalties.
It was another 15 minutes before the home team really started to play open, running rugby. Raeburn and Ruaridh Clinch combined to take play into the visitors’ half and when Hillhead full back Gallacher was yellow-carded for preventing Scott McCormick taking a quick penalty, Peebles kicked to the corner. After several drives, Matty Carryer drove over for the try, which Raeburn converted.
Hillhead hit back with a penalty, but Peebles continued to run the ball, resulting in three more tries before half-time. Conor Blyth got two of his eventual three and Richard Harrison scored on half-time after good running by Jamie Menzies. Raeburn converted two, giving Peebles a 32-3 lead at half-time.
Carryer added his second after the restart and the same player was instrumental in setting up Blyth’s hat-trick score from 40m only a few minutes later.
The city men were not going to win from this point, but they were not lying down, and their stand-off Nic Jurisic scored a very good solo try. He added the conversion points from the touchline.
After 65 minutes, one of the Hillhead forwards was sent off with a straight red card for throwing a punch more in frustration than in anger, and before the end of the game Peebles added further touchdowns from Andrew Brown and Ruaridh Clinch.
Devyn Smith had a good run from his own half and was stopped just short of the line by the visitors’ full back and on full time it looked like Richard Harrison was going to score from his own half as he hacked on a loose ball when the Hillhead backs were all up in attack, but the referee’s whistle blew for full-time.
This was a game where Peebles only played for about 40 minutes of the 80. Those on the coaching side of things believe the score could and should have been bigger, but the majority of supporters would have accepted such a scoreline before the kick-off.
Coach Drew Moore said little after the game other than stating he was quietly content, while Gavin Kerr said that the result was fine and just what was needed.