Hawick YM 17
NATIONAL SHIELD FINAL
PLAYING a team a full division above them, Hawick YM battled bravely, but were ultimately beaten by a dominating Lasswade pack and a controversial refereeing decision.
In the dressing room before the match, players watched good luck videos from family and friends, and were fired up as they jogged out onto the Murrayfield turf to the cheers of their large support who were soon rewarded with Glyn Desport making a searing break in the fifth minute to score out wide.
Ten minutes later, however, Lasswade edged into the lead when prop Dale Robertson barged over between the posts, making an easy conversion for Nick Wood.
The YM defence was merciless as Lasswade continued to batter their line. Kyle Smith almost got over, but was stopped dead by a double-sided attack from Scott McLeod and Dean McCracken.
YM continued to wow the crowd and some excellent passages of play saw the Teries well into the Lasswade half and Lee Armstrong wriggled his way over the line, converting himself.
Lasswade equalised three minutes later when Donald Hearn crossed the line – and that was the way things stood right up to half-time with the score at 12-12 and everything to play for.
Wood missed a penalty after the restart, but Lasswade continued to attack. The YM defence took a pounding as they guarded their tryline resolutely for a good 10-minute spell before escaping into safer territory, and they too were deprived of taking the lead when an Armstrong penalty bounced off the upright.
Disaster struck on 55 minutes when YM’s Dean McCracken was sent to the sin bin. With numbers down the Hawick defence crumbled and once again it was the big Lasswade front row man who rumbled over to put his side ahead. Numbers were soon evened up both in team terms and score when seven minutes later Lasswade back row man Gavin Brown was yellow-carded for a bad challenge and Scott McLeod ran in for a try.
Then came the decision and move that won the match. YM’s Neil McColm was cut down by a tackle which should have resulted in a penalty for the Hawick outfit and a yellow card for Lasswade. Instead, with the referee waving play on, and the Teries a defender down, Gavin Sharp strolled in for the match winner.
With only five points in it the closing stages were certainly not for the faint-hearted, but despite a determined effort from the YM boys they just couldn’t find that final score.
Hawick YM: A. Weir; C. Ritson, S. McLeod, D. McCracken, G. Desport; L. Armstrong, B. Campbell; B. Lilly, G. Douglas, A. Turnbull, S. Mabon, L. Mallin, C. Robson, S. Hill, R. Gibson. Subs: R. Taylor, G. Welsh, S. Desport, G. Cannon, R. Halliday, N. McColm and J. Tinlin.
Lasswade: J. Carmichael; K. Smith, J. Elliot, B. Hennessy, N. Gray; N. Wood, N. Clark; D. Robertson, G. Cook, M. Billingham, D. Grant, D. Hearn, R. Borthwick, C. Quigley, G. Brown. Subs: B. Smith, N. Durie, A. Elliot, G. Sharp, J. Taylor, R. Gladstone and R. McKenzie.