RBS PREMIER ONE
GAVIN GIBBON reports from Mansfield Park
HAWICK’S grip on the new Bill McLaren Shield was a temporary one as Boroughmuir left Mansfield Park with the silverware.
Conditions were atrocious as rain fell throughout the match, contributing largely to the poor offerings from both sides.
Boroughmuir enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and territory in the first half, but Hawick’s defence was resolute and big hits from Bruce McNeil, Sean Linton and Keith Davies restricted the visitors to just two long-range penalty efforts, converted by ’Muir stand off Harry Leonard.
In their only foray into the opposing 22, the Greens almost scored when McNeil hacked on from inside his own 5m line and ran the length of the pitch, only to be denied by a combination of Leonard and Robert Cairns.
Hawick’s own stand-off Lee Armstrong had to be replaced when his desperate defence to snuff out a Leonard chip-through resulted in a knee injury.
It wasn’t pretty from either side and the second half continued in much the same vain with Leonard stretching the city side’s lead with another penalty.
It took until the 65th minute for Hawick to finally spring into life.
First Gary Johnstone was hauled down just short and then Graeme Anderson was bundled into touch by two ‘Muir defenders when a try looked a certainty.
Davies was next to show his mettle with a rampaging run through the middle that was also halted.
The latter’s moment of glory was merely delayed, though, as he grabbed the only try of the game to give the large home support some hope.
Johnstone added the conversion and it was game on. But with the seconds ticking away, and Boroughmuir content to rumble possession through their big forward pack, it was too little, too late.
Hawick: N. McColm; G. Anderson, G. Johnstone, G. Hogg, S. Anderson; L. Armstrong, G. Cottrell; N. Little, M. Landels, S. Linton, B. Keown, K. Willison, R. Hogg, B. McNeil, K. Davies. Subs: C. Robson, S. Bouglas, N. Mactaggart, T. Manaheri, H. Scammell.