LAING SPEIRS reports from Riverside Park
HAWICK may have missed out on the prize they sought on Saturday – promotion to next season’s Premiership – but they contributed in a major way to a colourful game that contained eight good tries.
Even with results in the cities going the wrong way for the Greens, they could still take heart from their display.
While coach Phil Leck acknowledged that Hawick had not achieved what they set out to do, he said that it had been a fantastic game.
There had been some tackles missed, but with a limited number of backs in his squad it was difficult to get the defensive consistency that was needed.
Jed’s Darren Cunningham blamed one or two lapses of concentration for his side’s defeat, but was happy enough with a finish that saw them as Premier Two champions.
Each team was a bit unsteady at times, handling letting them down on a perfect day for rugby, but each in turn served up some positive and direct running.
Outstanding for Hawick was Rory Hutton, playing at the top of his form. With the sharpest of eyes for an opening, and his gift of eluding the tackle, he produced two tries for himself and had a hand in Hawick’s consistent second-half performance.
Robert Hogg was at the heart of most of Jed’s best work, but up front the home side had to give best to Hawick at the line-out, where Michael Robertson was always prominent.
Early play favoured the Riverside men, with Iain Chisholm opening with a penalty goal and David Gobby scoring after some good linking work.
Lewis Young on the other wing was set up for the next score by Hogg, and with Chisholm converting, Hawick were trailing by 15 points.
With so much poor handling on offer, the game still managed to survive and keep the crowd involved.
The presence of a group of English schoolboys dressed in Roman costume added to the colourful scene. They took over the pitch later for their own match.
It was a solo effort by Hutton, followed by another try from the same man after some assistance, that brought the Greens back into the game. A Chisholm penalty after a high tackle on Robert Hogg saw the half-time score at 18-10, but it was a different Hawick side which came out after the interval.
Neil Renwick scored two tries, the first after some typical Hutton neat play, and then virtually all the visitors’ backs were involved before Liam Lawrence squeezed in at the corner.
Chisholm set up hopes of a Jed fightback with a penalty, but another bit of Hutton magic lit the fuse that saw Rory Sutherland score midway to the corner.
Hawick’s goal kicking continued to be well off-target, but Chisholm showed them how with his fourth penalty.
It wasn’t enough to save Jed, and Hawick ended with a deserved win, even although it couldn’t provide the dream ending they were after.
Other days, other games, had decided the outcome long ago.
Jed-Forest: R. Millar; L. Young, R. Hogg, K. Aitchison, D. Gobby; I. Chisholm, J. Hogg; A. Ions, David Grieve, A. Croiuro, A. Nagle, M. Weekley, G. Taylor, Donald Grieve, D. Gillespie. Subs: G. Nagle, C. Hogg, J. Szkudro, R. Jackson.
Hawick: N. Renwick; Liam Lawrence, L. Armstrong, G. Johnstone, S. Anderson; R. Hutton, G. Cottrell; S.Muir, L. Gibson, S. Linton, M. Robertson, H. Scammell, R. Sutherland, K. Davies, B. McNeil. Subs: M. Landels, C. Smith, G. Anderson, G. Hogg.