Hawick 38 Selkirk 16




Both teams had several regulars missing for this double-header RBS Border Regional Cup and Booker Border League encounter. Hawick were seeking a much needed victory after a dismal run of losses and Selkirk were eager to make up for the disappointment of being edged out from the RBS Premier B play-offs by the last kick of the game versus Stewart's Melville the previous Saturday.
A decent crowd made for good atmosphere at Mansfield Park as the game got underway. Selkirk's David Cassidy opened the scoring after 5 minutes with a well struck penalty. The Greens were stung into action by this early set-back and Selkirk had to defend a lot in the opening exchanges. The Selkirk scrum was also under pressure as the Hawick eight gained the upper hand. A quickly taken penalty saw the ball transferred out wide where Keith Davies was on hand to crash over the try line for Hawick. Fullback, Neil Renwick brought out full points and the Greens deservedly led 7-3. Driving forward play soon resulted in prop Rory Sutherland being credited with the touchdown and again, Renwick added the conversion to bring cheer to the Hawick faithful. However, indiscipline was creeping into the home team's play and skipper Bruce McNeill was yellow carded although the resultant penalty attempt by Cassidy drifted wide of the posts. At last Selkirk enjoyed some territory after being camped in their own half for the majority of time and the ever alert Callum Johnston was on hand to reduce the deficit to 14-8 with a fine try. A tendency to kick away possession was letting Selkirk down and Hawick gratefully counter attacked as half time approached. A Neil Renwick penalty gave the Greens a lead of 9 points and Selkirk's plight was not helped by an injury to David Cassidy.
Early in the second half the game suddenly swung in favour of the visitors as Fraser Harkness broke down the middle of the field from inside his own half. A perfectly weighted chip over the head of defending fullback Renwick saw the Selkirk ace win the race to the line. Unfortunately, the conversion was missed but Selkirk were right back in the game. The momentum gathered pace when Rory Banks kicked a penalty and suddenly the Hawick lead was reduced to a single point with 25 minutes left to play. As the game entered the final quarter Selkirk prop Gordon Patterson was shown the red card for stamping by referee White and this effectively killed off Selkirk's chances as Hawick stormed back into the ascendency. Rory Hutton broke through for a try after 65 minutes and the Selkirk defence was crumbling. Renwick's conversion stretched the lead to 24-16. Shortly thereafter, prop Rory Sutherland showed a fair turn of speed to notch up his second try of the day and his hat-trick soon followed when he nipped over down the blindside after a telling drive by McNeill. Renwick added the conversions and the 38-16 final score will have worked wonders for Hawick's confidence. Selkirk must lick their wounds (and there are plenty of them) and bounce back from this disappointing result.