Glasgow Hawks 28, Selkirk 12

HAWKS KEEP PROMOTION HOPES ALIVE WITH HARD-FOUGHT VICTORY OVER SELKIRK

LEFT – Selkirk replacement Michael Waldron finishes off a fine break by getting his pass away to Fraser Harkness in Saturday’s RBS National League match against Glasgow Hawks at Old Anniesland. Hawks won 28-12. RIGHT – Selkirk lock Eddie Turner drives for the Hawks try line, with team-mate Clément Lacour lending support.[Photos: Grant Kinghorn]

IN a game which was a lot closer than the scoreline might suggest, Selkirk’s players came up just short against promotion-seeking Glasgow Hawks in Saturday’s full-blooded RBS National League contest at Old Anniesland.
Perhaps the most telling difference between two evenly matched teams was the city side’s ability to take their chance and turn pressure into points, whereas the visitors had a number of opportunities to keep the scoreboard ticking over, only to be let down by some indifferent finishing.
“I thought our boys showed great effort today,” Selkirk head coach Brian Cassidy said after the match, “but unfortunately a lot of the good work was undone by basic errors. All credit to Hawks for capitalising on these mistakes, but it was frustrating to see from the sidelines just how close we came to scoring without that all-important finishing touch.”
Cassidy said he was particularly pleased by Selkirk’s scrummaging, with the front row of Clement Lacour, James Bett and Cata Graur coming in for special mention. “I also thought young Eddie Turner showed real promise in his first start for the club, and the fact we had three 19-year-olds on the bench augurs well for the future.”
The visitors didn’t help themselves by making an uncertain start to the game, allowing Hawks to pressurise their line after Andy White’s kick-off bounced straight into touch. And with only four minutes on the clock, a Hawks counter-attack ended when rangy home lock Ruaridh Wilson (no relation to Selkirk’s player of the same name) sold an outrageous dummy to crash over for the game’s opening try. Mike Adamson’s successful conversion put Hawks 7-0 ahead.
Stirred into action, Gavin Craig’s break up the middle saw Scott Hendrie make further inroads towards the home try line, but the Hawks cover arrived in time to prevent Daren Clapperton squeezing over at the corner. A scrum pick-up by Ryan Crockatt shortly afterwards kept up the visitors’ momentum, and it took two home players to hold up Angus Duckett over the line.
At this point Hawks tighthead prop Chris Barnes had to leave the field for running repairs to a head knock, with Paul Henderson coming on as replacement. A powerful run by full-back Fraser Harkness, well supported by Matt Kissick, took play deep into Hawks territory, but the promise of a try evaporated when the final pass went straight to a home player.
In the 11th minute Selkirk finally gave its large band of travelling supporters something to cheer about. Once again it was Harkness who proved the catalyst with another surging run, before quick hands by Darren Clapperton allowed Rory Banks to scamper over for a try.
Hawks responded midway through the half by winning turnover ball from Selkirk’s quickly taken penalty, and a missed first-time tackle allowed wing Tom Steven to sprint down the left-hand touchline to score. Adamson’s conversion sailed over to put the home team 14-5 ahead.
With the restart kick not going 10 metres, Hawks took advantage to put pressure on the visitors’ line, and only brave defending by Ross Nixon and a good line-out take by Ewan MacDougall prevented the city team from increasing its lead.
Selkirk replaced Lacour with Michael Waldron at this point, and had a lucky let-off soon afterwards when Adamson’s penalty attempt drifted wide following Duckett’s penalisation for not rolling away. Selkirk finished the half strongly. Skipper Craig’s break was kept alive by Waldron, but once again the Hawks defence stifled the attack, leaving the interval score at 14-5.
Josh Welsh replaced Rory Banks at the start of the second half, and it looked as though Selkirk would make early inroads into the home total when a 45-metre break by Harkness took play deep into Hawks territory. However, the city men managed to win quick turnover ball and raced straight back up the field - Ali Maxwell setting up wing John Wright for a classic counter-attacking try.
Selkirk redoubled their efforts, with Kissick and Duckett always to the fore, and the Souters were rewarded midway through the half when Gavin Craig’s clever break allowed Darren Clapperton to hare down the stand touchline and sidestep Hawks’ last defender for a well deserved try. McVie’s successful conversion cut the deficit to 21-12.
Within a minute it looked as though Selkirk were right back in the game after Gavin Craig intercepted a Hawks pass and burst over the line to touch down between the posts. However, one of the assistant referees deemed a Selkirk forward had knocked on earlier in the move and the score was disallowed.
Hawks made the most of this let-off, rubbing salt into the visitors’ wounds by notching a bonus point try in the closing minutes through Paul Henderson, converted by Adamson, to keep their promotion hopes very much alive.
In the final stages of the match Selkirk brought on replacements Ruairi Wilson and Brendon Reid, both of whom gave good accounts of themselves.

LEFT – Selkirk openside Angus Duckett battles to touch the ball down, watched by number eight Ryan Crockatt. RIGHT – Scott Hendrie launches another Selkirk attack at Old Anniesland on Saturday.

SELKIRK: F. Harkness, R. Banks, S. Hendrie, R. Nixon, D. Clapperton, G. Craig, M. McVie, C. Lacour, J. Bett, C. Graur, E. Turner, M. Kissick, E. MacDougall, A. Duckett, R. Crockatt. Reps: J. Welsh, B. Reid, R. Wilson, M. Waldron.
HAWKS: M. Adamson, T. Steven, T. Preece, D. Milne, J. Wright, A. White, P. Boyer, J. Lohoar, J. Macfarlane, C. Barnes, R. Wilson, D. Paton, S. Leckie, R. Miller, A. Maxwell,. Replacements: P. Henderson, C. Kerr, R. McKay, M. Martin, H. McPherson.