BORDER LEAGUE/RBS CUP
ATHOLL INNES reports from Mansfield Park
ON a day of rain and gales, Hawick blew away Jed-Forest in a whirlwind Boxing Day performance of tornado proportions.
Jed were outplayed and outclassed, and the dressing room door remained firmly closed well after the final whistle.
Of late, the visitors have been throwing away points like confetti at a wedding, and Andy Ireland’s final whistle brought simply relief.
It could have been a game of two halves, but while Jed huffed and puffed, Hawick were in full control, even into the wind.
Jed had their moments – but these were few and far between.
“It’s getting a bit monotonous now. That’s five defeats in a row,” said coach Darren Cunningham.
“But Hawick seemed to want it more than we did. The players have to pull themselves together. The heads were down and as coaches we expect more.
“It is not easy to get back to the winning mentality and we need to sort it out.
“It’s not acceptable.”
Hawick rattled in six tries and it could have been more. Jed had no answer to the quality of Rory Hutton and the driving power of the pack, in which Bruce McNeil and Barrie Keown were dominant players.
The club still believes that it can hold on to its Premier A status. “I would not be here otherwise if I did not think that,” said coach Phil Leck.
“We were dominant in long phases of the game and our strength in defence was crucial in the second half.”
Hawick had the advantage of the wind in the first half and the 24-3 half-time lead was deserved.
Leck added: “The players have started to have their own belief in our systems. That was one of best first-half performances I have seen from Hawick since I came here.
“Our backs controlled the game and Rory (Hutton) and Greg (Cottrell) were able to make good use of the excellent platform set up by the forwards. We need to keep it going.”
Hawick were ahead after only two minutes when Neil McColm had a free run to the right-hand corner and Lee Armstrong banged over the conversion.
The Teries were not be denied again and Keown went over under the posts and Armstrong added the extra points.
Andy McLean closed the gap with a penalty, but the celebrations were short-lived as Hutton ran clear from 30m to score.
Jed were stretched, and from Hutton’s break over 50m, the ball was recycled quickly and allowed Steven Anderson to dart in for a try to establish a 21-point lead at the break.
Armstrong added a penalty, with Hawick falling just short of a try and the home side put the game beyond doubt with Kieran Willison’s try and Armstrong’s third conversion.
Replacement Michael Robertson’s touchdown wrapped up a festive day for the Greens.
Hawick: L. Armstrong, N. McColm, G. Johnstone, G. Hogg, S. Anderson, R. Hutton, G. Cottrell, R. Sutherland, L. Gibson, S. Linton, K. Willison, B. Keown, N. Mactaggart, K. Davies, B. McNeill. Subs: M. Landels, H. Scammel, M. Robertson, S. Muir, L. Lawrence, J. Tinlin, R. Scott.
Jed-Forest: E. Scott, C. Gillon, G. Young, K. Aitchison, D, Gobby, A. McLean, R. Goodfellow, A. Ions, S. Raeburn, A. Croiteu, A. Nagle, N. Cook, M. Weekly, Donald Grieve, D. Gillespie. Subs: C. Hogg, C. Page, M. Chisholm, A. McKay, R. Miller, P. Hill, G. Taylor.