PREMIER GROUP A
STUART CAMERON reports from Mansfield Park
A couple of weeks ago I saw Gala lose a match 6-5 at Netherdale and the entertainment value on show was very poor.
This time the score was 7-6 with Hawick losing at home to Ayr, but there was plenty of entertainment on offer in one of the most exciting games of the season.
It was the Greens’ first home game in the league for more than 15 weeks and the Teries turned out in force, and really got behind their team.
In turn, Ayr are still gunning for the Scottish Premier One championship title and they certainly came with a pack who would steamroller just about every team in the division with its sheer power.
Although Hawick secured two early Rory Hutton penalties to go 6-0 up inside 11 minutes, you did get the impression that the men in pink would take the home side to the cleaners up front with a massive weight advantage and a drilled line-out.
On the 20 minute mark, the visitors were destroying the Hawick pack, but the defence was solid, making tackle after tackle and showing sheer guts and determination.
In the end, though, a breakthrough for Ayr saw left winger Cammy Taylor coming in from his left wing to the right to skip over for what turned out to be the only try of the game. Ross Curle converted to make it 7-6.
While the Greens played a blinder in defence they also had plenty of flair in attack. Rory Hutton went on a series of jinky trademark runs and Bruce McNeil’s 60m dash down the touchline was a sight to behold.
Rory Hutton and Graham Hogg (with the final kick of the match) had chances to win the game with late penalty kicks, but it wasn’t to be in very tricky conditions for kicking.
It really was a case of all hands to the pump for the home side, and even though they had really nothing to play for, there was character in abundance and they gave 100 per cent for their fans.
Skipper McNeil told TheSouthern afterwards that he was a disappointed but proud man. “It was a great effort from the boys, but we wanted to turn Ayr over, he added.
“At the end of the day the better team won, I think.
“They tried to take us on up front but only got one try and that’s a massive credit to us.
“The effort we put in was phenomenal and we must carry that through to next week against Dundee.
“If we want to progress as a club we need to beat teams like this week in and week out and that is our aim.”
Hawick: C. Murray; S. Anderson, G. Johnstone, D. McCracken, G. Anderson; R. Hutton, G. Cottrell; R. Sutherland, L Gibson, S. Linton, K. Willison, D. Denton, N. Mactaggart, G. Lowrie, B. McNeil. Subs: C. Robertson, G. Hogg, R. Hogg, M. Robertson, G. Petrie.