Quins take first spoils in promotion chase as Earlston struggle in the wind

HAWICK,  UNITED KINGDOM - 30 Aug 2011: 'Ricki Kiore'Hawick Harlequins Coach'with players Bobby Robson, Adam Hall, Dale Johnstone, Craig Richardson'(Photo by Rob Gray / Freelance)
HAWICK, UNITED KINGDOM - 30 Aug 2011: 'Ricki Kiore'Hawick Harlequins Coach'with players Bobby Robson, Adam Hall, Dale Johnstone, Craig Richardson'(Photo by Rob Gray / Freelance)
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Earlston 6

Hawick Harlequins 16

EAST DIVISION TWO

FIONA SCOTT reports from the Haugh

WITH both sides vying for one promotion spot, this game was always going to be a tough encounter – the first game in what is now East League 2A following the midseason split.

For the confused among you, this means that as both Borders sides finished in the top four after the first half of the season, the second half consists of home and away fixtures against the other two teams in the top half, Dalkeith and current leaders Dunbar. The points gained so far in the league are retained and the team that finishes top of the pile at the end of the season will be promoted to East League One.

The Arctic blast blowing right up the middle of the park did nothing to help either side during Saturday’s 80-minute encounter which, for the hardy smattering of supporters who turned out to watch, provided a solid, and entertaining, display of forward-driven rugby.

Quins kicked off with the wind behind them and took full advantage of the conditions to go into the break 6-0 up, Scott Peffers having nailed two penalties.

Home supporters were hopeful their side would do the same in the ensuing 40 minutes and it all started promisingly enough when Danny Orr slotted two penalties in the opening 20 minutes to tie the scores.

Throughout the game, the majority of play had been carried out in the middle section of the pitch as the teams battled each other, as well as the elements.

But, as time began to run out, it was the Hawick side who were able to break the deadlock when former Hawick lock Alastair Stevenson used his weight and experience to bulldoze his way over the line for the first try of the game.

The hosts continued to battle and stalemate resumed, but disaster struck in the 72nd minute when home prop Alistair Hogg was sent to the sin-bin for what was deemed to be a high tackle.

Now, with a one-man advantage, Quins pushed to seal the victory and did just that in the final minute when Craig Richardson barged over to touch down.

Quins coach Ricki Kiore told TheSouthern: “That was a good result for us in what proved a difficult game in that wind. We were just glad to get the points at the end of it.”

Earlston: S. Megahy; S. Renton, B. Watson, S. Bell, C. Connell; D. Orr, I. Dick; A. Hogg, L. Bottomley, D. Leitch, G. Kerr, S. Cessford, G. Gibson, D. Cessford, A. Fairbairn. Subs: G. Shields, S. Cessford, G. McDowell, G. Thomson, C. Norris, B. Douglas.

Hawick Harlequins: A. Hall; P. Mactaggart, R. Anderson, N. Douglas, G. Lothian; S. Peffers, N. Anderson; C. Richardson, D. Johnstone, S. Gray, A. Stevenson, A. Pretswell, G. Rodgerson, G. Grierson, M. Pringle. Subs: A. Fahim, M. Nichol, S. Hardie, A. Hepburn, A. Bell, S. Robson, J. McHugh.