Selkirk 2nds 17, Hawick 2nds 29

Hawick hold upper hand in top-of-the-table clash with Selkirk

A SOLID display by Hawick 2nds earned the Teries victory over Selkirk 2nds at Philiphaugh on Friday night, underlining why the visitors remain title favourites in this season's inaugural Roadhead Farm Feeds Border Championship.

With Hawick's big pack dominating in both set piece and broken play, Selkirk were left to feed off limited possession for long periods of the match, and it says much for the never-say-say attitude of the Souters that they managed to go into the halftime interval 17-15 ahead.

However, following the break the Green Machine began to build up a head of steam that the home side found difficult to cope with, and two further tries ensured the visitors left Philiphaugh with a bonus point as well as an unblemished record in the league.

After 14 minutes Selkirk lost the services of Struan Jack with an ankle injury, his place being taken by Ben Cooper. Shortly afterwards Hawick went ahead when Ricky Kiori was driven over for a try from a line-out. Craig Neish added the conversion.

Four minutes later Selkirk drew level when Andrew Millar won the touchdown to a fly-hack over the line, and Guy Blair added the conversion to make it 7-7. Neish and Blair then swapped penalties, before Steven Jeffery restored the visitors' lead with a try from another line-out drive.

Just before halftime Selkirk went ahead in dramatic style, when Michael Jaffray intercepted near the halfway line and had the pace, and puff, to sprint 50 metres and side-step the Hawick full-back for a superb solo try. Blair's conversion gave Selkirk a 17-15 advantage.

The second half saw the Hawick No. 10 cleverly dictate play with a series of well judged positional kicks, and tries by Ross Armstrong and Keith Headley (both converted by Neish) allowed the visitors to run out 29-17 winners.

Seven minutes from time Hawick prop Willie Blacklock received a red card from referee David Dods for foul play, which proved the only blot on the league leader's copybook in an otherwise successful night's work.

SELKIRK - B. Armstrong, S. Jack, M. Jaffray, R. Nixon, C. Hunter, G. Blair, S. Tomlinson, R. Price, J. Duncan, J. Stephens, J. Ross, D. Gray, N. Brown, A. Millar, C. Kemp. Replacements: B. Cooper, M. Rodgerson, S. Renwick, K. Connor, G. Fairbairn, C. Fairbairn, C. Anderson.

Referee - D. Dods (Gala).

RED ALERT. Hawick prop forward Willie Blacklock receives his marching orders from referee David Dods in Friday night's match against Selkirk 2nds at Philiphaugh. (Picture: Grant Kinghorn)