Comeback kings rule the roost at Mansfield Park

Callum Johnston
Callum Johnston

TAKE That, Dallas and John Travolta ... add to that list of great comebacks Selkirk’s extraordinary second-half performance which secured a dramatic win at Hawick.

Trailing 23-5 at half-time, the Philiphaugh men ran in three unanswered tries, including a winning effort by prop Gordon Patterson, to seal a 30-26 triumph and their first success at Mansfield Park for four years.

Coach Brian Cassidy said: “The whole team showed great character in fighting back like that after the break, for I thought Hawick was the hungrier side in the first half.

“I reckoned the wind would be worth 20 points to the team who had it at their backs, but even so we still had it all to do in the second period.”

The win leaves Selkirk with two wins out of two in the National League, and supporters will be expecting win number three at home to Hamilton tomorrow (3pm kick-off), following the South Lanarkshire side’s loss to Kelso last weekend, who in turn the Souters defeated on the opening day of the season.

Playing with a strong wind at their backs, Hawick used the conditions to their advantage in the first half.

Full back Neil Renwick landed 13 points with his boot, thanks in part to Mother Nature, as well as a try.

Former Selkirk player Ross Armstrong also found the tryline, while the visitor’s only score was a trademark Fraser Harkness touchdown, who powered over the line.

Eighteen points adrift at the break, Selkirk seemed to turn round a different outfit in the second period. McVie and Renwick traded penalties, before Kiwi lock Matt Kissick swallow-dived over after Harkness proved too strong again for Hawick’s defence.

McVie’s conversion narrowed the gap to 11 points at 26-15, but both teams suffered injury blows in their second rows as Craig Smith and Kissick left the field.

Hawick’s Keith Davies was then left red-faced as his pass was intercepted by scrum half McVie, who fed Ryan Crockatt to charge in for Selkirk’s third try. 26-20 behind, the Selkirk revival was most definitely on.

With only 10 minutes to go, McVie landed his second penalty to put the Souters just three points behind, with Hawick akin to a 400m runner who had sprinted clear of the field only to run of puff in the home straight.

Then came the decisive score. Andrew Renwick made the vital initial break and Callum Johnston, Neil Darling, Ross Nixon and Callum McColm combined in a move which culminated in Patterson side-stepping Neil Renwick to scamper over.

McVie held his nerve to boot over the conversion, but he almost set up a winning Hawick score as his clearance kick in extra time failed to find touch. Greens winger Steven Anderson looked destined for the try until Darren Clapperton strained every muscle to bundle his opposite number into touch inches from the line.

Also at Philiphaugh tomorrow, Selkirk A take on unbeaten Ayr 2nds in the Reserve League National One (2.30pm), while the Stormers head to Murrayfield to take on Wanderers in Reserve League East One (3pm).

And Sunday sees Selkirk Under-16s travel to Jed-Forest in the Border League.