Stirling County 19
PREMIER DIVISION ONE
GAVIN GIBBON reports from Mansfield Park
GREENS legend Jim Renwick admitted Hawick were fortunate to escape with a draw on Saturday as a last-gasp kick levelled the match.
The 59-year-old agreed to help out at Mansfield Park in the short term, along with former assistant coach Rocky Johnstone, following the resignation of Deek Armstrong.
And they managed to stop the rot after four successive defeats.
But Renwick said: “We’re happy with the draw. I think Stirling will be disappointed with the possession they had.
“They probably had enough possession, certainly in the first half, to win. They had our scrum going back and had a few drives, and we were maybe fortunate to get away with a draw in the end.”
County bossed the first half with three Brian Archibald penalties and a Gary Mountford try converted by the experienced Stirling centre.
All Hawick could muster in reply was a Lee Armstrong penalty, although an earlier attempt by the young stand-off pinged agonisingly off the upright.
The Greens started the second half with a renewed vigour and Armstrong slotted another penalty before young replacement Rory Sutherland barged over with County’s Steve Swindall in the sin bin. Armstrong converted to tie the scores and the Greens went for the jugular, but a drop-goal attempt by the impressive Graham Hogg failed to hit the target and Greg Cottrell spilled the ball right on the County line.
It looked like it was to be another hard luck story for the loyal band of home supporters when Archibald struck a late penalty.
But Hawick kept up the pressure and, with the clock showing 86 minutes, were rewarded when County were penalised for not releasing inside their own 22.
Armstrong ignored the pressure and expectancy of hundreds and split the uprights.
Hawick: N. McColm, G. Anderson, G. Johnstone, G. Hogg, S. Anderson, L. Armstrong, G. Cottrell, N. Little, L. Gibson, B. McNeil, K. Willison, B. Keown, N. Mactaggart, R. Hogg and K. Davies. Subs: R. Sutherland, H. Scammell, D. Landels, L. Lawrence and T. Manihera.