Border League first for Redskins

Hawick YM 15

Jed-Forest 12

BOOKER BORDER LEAGUE

STUART CAMERON reports from Mansfield Haugh

IT’S been a fantastic few years for Hawick YM – and they keep adding achievements to their 93-year-old history. Last Friday they added another chapter to the book with a first win in the Border League, and against a side they had never played before.

It was always going to be an interesting clash with Jed going through one of the worst periods for many years, starting the season with 11 defeats in their opening 12 games. Their head coach of four years, Darren Cunningham, was sacked the week before, while the Redskins were on a roll, losing just once in their last eight matches.

Right from the off, the YM pack set to work trying to get the upper hand – and they succeeded, driving the Jed forwards backwards early on.

But two quick tries by Scotland 7s star Gregor Young, one of them converted by Iain Chisholm, gave the Royal Blues the initiative.

The first touchdown came in 20 minutes. Robert Hogg burst through between Jason Hendrie and Graham Skellington, made some ground and unleashed David Gobby coming in from the left.

He went past Graham Hogg and handed off John Coutts before being caught by Dean McCracken. He managed to offload to Young who only needed to run a couple of metres to score.

His second try five minutes later involved Chisholm who threw a long pass to him out on the right. Ross Goodfellow took play on, drawing in the defence, and when he passed back to Young he was in the clear, going in at the corner for his seventh try in just three games following a shoulder injury.

The home defensive lapses were addressed for the remainder of the game as YM tightened up at the back and ensured that there would be no further scores from their opponents.

YM coach Jammy McFarlane’s half-time talk did the trick and things got interesting just after the break when skipper Bruce Campbell’s kick ahead was collected by Hendrie who ran in unopposed. Graham Hogg bagged the conversion.

YM sensed victory and continued to take the game to Jed. After several phases of play John Coutts took the scoring pass and dived over to square the game.

With 10 minutes remaining Graham Hogg landed a penalty from 50 metres out to put his side in front – and then it was a matter of keeping the National League side away from their half of the field for the rest of the game. They achieved it and when the final whistle blew there was much joy as the Redskins celebrated a famous victory.

Coach McFarlane told TheSouthern: “The fellas wrote their names in the history books today. We were dominant in the opening quarter in field position and set piece, and every facet of the game actually. Jed’s quality out wide showed, but we gathered ourselves in the second half.”

Jed’s Ewan Scott said: “It’s a hard time for the club right now. We’ve got used to losing, while YM are used to winning. It’s hard for the boys following Darren leaving.

“We turn up at training and don’t really know who’s taking the training or what’s going on, but, hopefully, we’ll get another coach ahead of the important game against Biggar in a couple of weeks.”

Match highlights are on Borders Rugby TV are at www.BordersRugby.net.

Hawick YM: J. Coutts; J. Hendrie, G. Hogg, G. Kellington, M. Graham; D. McCracken, B. Campbell (c); A. Williamson, R. Graham, G. Douglas, B. Thomson, R. MacLeod, S. Mabon, D. Cowan, R. Hogg. Subs: G. Wylie, S. Hill, A. Turnbull, C. Robson.

Jedforest: G. Young; C. Gillon, R. Hogg, S. McDonald, D. Gobby; I. Chisholm, R. Goodfellow; A. Ions, G. Slorance, C. Page, G. Elder, G. Young, G. Tyalor, D. Grieve, J. Sudlow. Subs: N. Bates, S. Raeburn, E. Scott, N. Fona-Hunt, D. Wallace.