RBS NATIONAL LEAGUE
GAVIN GIBBON reports from Mansfield Park
HAWICK coach Phil Leck admitted he had never seen anything like it before after watching his side overcome Hamilton in a 101-point thriller.
But he was just delighted to have come away with a bonus-point victory.
He said: “I’ve never been involved in a game like that before in my life. I’ve never been part of a 61-40 competition and that’s what it was because there were times when they could easily have got back in the match.”
With only a quarter of the game gone, Hawick had secured the bonus after tries from Scott McLeod, Nick Mactaggart, Craig Smith and Neil Renwick, with the latter adding the four conversions. Hamilton’s only reply was a try from Andy Hill, converted by Owen McLeish.
But rather than be overawed by their first visit to Mansfield Park, the west coast side battled hard and scores for John Selfridge and a second from Hill, and McLeish doing the necessary with the boot, showed they were up for the fight.
Hawick, however, always seemed to have another gear and Keith Davies added to the try-count in between the visitors’ scores.
The half-time lead looked commanding, but an early converted try from Stannage gave Hamilton plenty of hope.
Unfortunately for them, that was quickly extinguished as Rory Hutton weaved his way majestically over the line and added his second try of the afternoon just minutes later, Renwick adding the extras.
There were no thoughts of the visitors rolling over, though, and Hill grabbed his hat-trick-clinching score with 10 minutes left. The impressive Lee Armstrong replied for the hosts with a converted try before Stannage also made it three in his personal tally right on 80 minutes.
Fittingly though, it was Hawick who had the final say as youngster Stuart Graham, who had earlier spent 10 minutes in the sin bin, dashed over in the corner to complete the scoring.
Hawick: N. Renwick; S. Anderson, L. Armstrong, G. Johnstone, S. McLeod; R. Hutton, G. Cottrell; L. Launders, H. Scammell, M. Landels, C. Smith, B. Keown, S. Graham, N. Mactaggart and K. Davies. Subs: A. Williamson, L. Gibson, K. Willison, G. Hogg and G. Anderson.