HAVING been 19-0 ahead after 30 minutes of this RBS Border Regional Cup tie, Selkirk were reeled in by Hawick after the break to lose in the most heart-breaking of ways.
Selkirk made a strong start with fly-half Gavin Craig cutting through the home defence for a try close to the posts which Josh Welsh converted.
A run by Fraser Harkness, one of many throughout the game, sent Welsh over in the corner for Selkirk’s second try before the full back touched down one of his own, with the former making the conversion. Just before the interval the Teries hit back through a try out wide from Neil Renwick to make the half-time score Hawick 5 Selkirk 19.
Hawick seized the initiative after the restart with a series of drives deep into Selkirk territory. In a foretaste of what was to follow, the visitors were penalised in front of their own posts for not releasing, and Renwick stepped up to cut the deficit.
Virtually all the play for the next 25 minutes was confined to the Souters’ 22 as the Greens pack hammered away and, despite battling to protect their line, the visitors’ defences were eventually breached by Bruce McNeil and Shawn Muir in the 66th and 71st minutes.
With both tries remaining unconverted, Selkirk were left hanging on by the narrowest of margins. A yellow card was then shown by the referee to Ross Nixon for ‘sealing off’ at a ruck, and soon afterwards another award to the home side saw Renwick successfully land the penalty kick to put the Greens ahead for the first time in the match, with just over a minute left on the clock.
By now the home crowd were shouting for the final whistle, but enough time remained for one more moment of high drama – an injury-time penalty attempt by Banks coming agonisingly close to snatching a win for the visitors before bouncing back off the crossbar.