HAWICK HAVE THE UPPER HAND AS INJURIES TAKE A HEAVY TOLL ON BELOW-PAR SELKIRK TEAM

Scrum-half Scott Clark dives over for Selkirk’s first try, much to the delight of team-mate Thomas Brown.


No way through – Selkirk threequarter Clark Young feels the full force of Hawick No. 8 Jae Linton’s tackle.


Wing Frazer Anderson dives for the corner, but the assistant referee ruled a foot had been in touch.


Selkirk No. 8 Andrew Grant-Suttie bids to beat the Hawick cover. [Photos – GRANT KINGHORN PICS]

HAWICK 23, SELKIRK 22

TWO interception tries late in the game looked as though Selkirk might come away from Mansfield Park on Saturday with an improbable win, but a penalty from the boot of Hawick full-back Kirk Ford ultimately settled the contest and the Greens’ retention of the Bill McLaren Shield.
Of more immediate concern for the visitors were the serious injuries picked up by three Selkirk players during the match – Josh Welsh, Josh Mackay and Ryan Cottrell, who all had to be assisted from the pitch.
“The bottom line is that we didn’t play well today,” Selkirk head coach Scott Wight said after the game, “although I thought the players showed character to fight to the end and come up with those two interception tries.
“Hawick were the better team on the day, and unfortunately we didn’t front up, which is something we’re going to have to address.
“Probably the most disappointing thing of all is the crop of injuries we suffered, a couple of which look likely to keep those players out for months rather than weeks.
“Hopefully coping with such adversity will knit us closer together as a squad, and it’s important the boys stick together and don’t splinter off.
“Currie, one of the stronger teams in the league, come to Philiphaugh on Saturday, so we’re going to have to dust ourselves off and get on with it.”
Hawick also didn’t have their injury problems to seek, with both Callum Renwick and his back row team-mate Stuart Graham departing early from the fray after picking up knocks.
It took the home team just three minutes to put the first points on the board. Selkirk scrum-half Scott Clark lost the ball after being caught in possession on the try line, allowing home skipper Matt Carryer to barrel over under the posts. Ford converted.
With first Callum Renwick and then Josh Welsh retiring hurt, Selkirk came close to cutting the deficit when Frazer Anderson almost squeezed over in the corner. However, the score was chalked off for a foot in touch.
A high tackle on Clark Young by Gareth Welsh resulted in the Hawick scrum-half being yellow-carded, before visiting hooker Josh Mackay left the field in the 28th minute with a painful knee injury.
A Scott Clark penalty managed to keep Selkirk in the hunt, before Hawick punished a defensive lapse in the visiting threequarter line that allowed wing Ronan McKean space on the right to score an unconverted score.
Just before the break Scott Clark peeled off a line-out drive to dive over for a try, which he then converted, making the halftime score 12-10 in Hawick’s favour.
In the second half Selkirk continued to concede penalties in promising positions, surrendering significant chunks of territory to opponents who looked hungrier and more incisive in attack.
A third home try by wing Morgan Tait and a penalty by Ford – awarded when Selkirk replacement Jack Hamilton was yellow-carded moments after coming on to the field - put Hawick 20-10 ahead, at which stage a home win looked on the cards. The visitors had other ideas.
With the Greens again camped on Selkirk’s 22, Selkirk’s Ryan Cottrell pounced on an off-load in front of his own try line to sprint 85 metres up the stand touchline and score in the corner – in the process suffering a dislocated shoulder and damaging his AC joint.
Incredibly, an almost identical try swiftly followed when Callum Anderson intercepted Kyle Brunton’s floated pass inside Selkirk’s ‘22’ to race clear and touch down close to the posts. Clark converted to put the visitors ahead for the first time in the match at 22-20.
Any brief hopes Selkirk’s travelling support might have harboured of a shock win were then extinguished by Ford’s match-winning penalty kick.
HAWICK - K Ford; R McKean, A Redpath, K Brunton, M Tait; B Donaldson, G Welsh; T Hope, M Carryer, R Macleod, R Smith, S Fairbairn, S Graham, C Renwick, J Linton. Replacements: N Little, C Tait, S Frizzel, D Lightfoot, J Delaney.
SELKIRK - J Welsh; F Anderson, R Cottrell, R Nixon, B Pickles; C Anderson, S Clark; L Pettie, J Mackay, B Riddell, T Brown, A McColm, A Cochrane, S McClymont, A Grant-Suttie. Replacements: R Cook, K Thomson, J Anderson, J Hamilton, C Young.
Referee: Ross Mabon (SRU).

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