Christmas comes early for Hawick Wands

Selkirk Youth Club 8

Hawick Wanderers 35

SEMI-JUNIOR LEAGUE

AN error-strewn performance by Selkirk Youth Club meant that the precious league points were delivered gift-wrapped to league leaders Hawick Wanderers on Saturday.

Playing in tricky underfoot conditions, the hosts were under pressure straight from the start when they failed to catch the ball from the kick-off and gave away control. Within a minute, Corey Wilson had opened the scoring with a well-struck penalty.

From the restart, Wilson again cleared the ball from deep. The covering Youth Club winger slipped on the frozen surface, and with Darren Henderson hacking the ball on, Sam Bandeen picked up to go over for a converted try.

Hawick increased their lead midway through the half with another Wilson penalty before the Souters clawed themselves back into the game with a penalty from Darren Knox, followed by a try from Bruce Riddell.

Play was fairly evenly matched for a spell, but once again the visitors took control. An ambitious chip over the top by Wilson saw Selkirk take possession, but the Wands forwards were quick up to the play and drove over the top to win the ball, which was recycled to Henderson, who went in uncontested, with Wilson adding the extras.

Just before the break, Wanderers gained possession in their own half and a long pass saw Lewis Anderson break two tackles to run the length of the pitch for a score that was a devastating blow to the home side, leaving a half-time score of 8-25 to the Wands.

The second half was a bit disjointed and no matter how hard the Youth Club tried they were unable to find a way through the well-organised Hawick defence.

The visitors upped the pressure and after some good play, Jordan Hyslop bereaking through and releasing Jack McColm to go over.

With 10 minutes remaining, Selkirk did begin to make some headway towards the Hawick try-line, but could find no way through.

Eventually it was Wanderer Scott Anderson who ended the deadlock when he ripped the ball from Callum McEwan’s arms, and sent a perfect pass to flying winger Ryan Elliot, who was never going to be caught.

Towards the final whistle, the Youth Club forwards drove their Hawick counterparts back towards their own line, but were unfortunate not to score and the game fizzled out to its conclusion.