Selkirk stage superb comeback

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Hawick 26

Selkirk 30

RBS NATIONAL LEAGUE

SELKIRK’S 25-point second half haul saw the Philiphaugh men stage a remarkable comeback against shocked Hawick.

The Souters trailed 23-5 at half-time, with Neil Renwick contributing 18 points.

But prop Gordon Patterson proved the unlikely hero to score the winning try late on for an ecstatic but breathless Selkirk side.

A strong wind blew down Mansfield Park on Saturday, and Hawick chose to play with it at their backs in the first half, a decision which appeared to have set up the Greens’ first National League win of the season.

It took the home team just five minutes to open the scoring as a neat reverse pass by ex-Selkirk player Ross Armstrong broke through the Selkirk defence, leading to prop Shawn Muir crashing over for a try, converted by Renwick.

Renwick sent over a huge penalty from two metres inside his own half to put Hawick 10-0 ahead before captain Gavin Craig, Callum McColm and Cata Graur combined to set up Fraser Harkness to barge over in the corner for Selkirk’s first try.

When the Souters were penalised for offside, Renwick went even longer than his first three-pointer, landing his kick from fully five metres inside his own half.

Renwick’s third successful penalty stretched the lead to 16-5 and when he breezed in to score and then convert his own try, Hawick were cruising to victory.

With the strengthening breeze now at their backs, the Philiphaugh team looked a different outfit in the second period.

McVie and Renwick traded penalties, but the Hawick full back would not add to his 21 points in the remainder of the match.

Selkirk cut the deficit in the 46th minute when lock Matt Kissick dived over in spectacular fashion after Harkness proved too strong again for Hawick’s defence. McVie’s conversion narrowed the gap to 11 points at 26-15, but both teams suffered injury blows in their second rows as Craig Smith and Kissick left the field.

The match turned after Keith Davies’ pass was intercepted by scrum half McVie, who fed Ryan Crockatt to scamper in for Selkirk’s third try.

And with 10 minutes to go, McVie’s landed his second penalty to pull Selkirk just three points behind before the decisive score.

Andrew Renwick broke through the Teries’ defence and Callum Johnston, Neil Darling, Ross Nixon and Callum McColm were all involved in a move which culminated in Patterson side-stepping Renwick to burst over the line for a great try.

McVie held his nerve to boot over the conversion, but the Selkirk number nine’s kicking let him down in injury time when he failed to find touch, allowing winger Steven Anderson the chance to snatch victory back for Hawick.

However, Darren Clapperton’s desperate tackle proved enough to bundle Anderson into touch and complete Selkirk’s second league win in the most dramatic of circumstances.

Their coach Brian Cassidy said: “Hawick’s defence after the break was solid, and they gave away very few penalties, but the boys raised their game and built up enough momentum to shift the balance in our favour.

“Full credit to Hawick for coming back at us in the final minutes, but Selkirk’s players kept their nerve and stood tall. As a coach, you can’t ask for more.”

Hawick: N. Renwick; S. Anderson, L. Armstrong, R. Armstrong, S. McLeod; R. Hutton, G. Cottrell; S. Muir, L. Gibson, L. Launders, C. Smith, K. Willison, N. Mactaggart, R. Scott, K. Davies. Subs: H. Scammell, D. Johnstone, A. Weir, S. Graham, G. Johnstone.

Selkirk: F. Harkness; C. McColm, L. McLennan, R. Nixon, D. Clapperton; G. Craig, M. McVie; C. Lacour, P. Forrest, C. Graur, M. Kissick, A. Renwick, E. MacDougall, A. Duckett, R. Crockatt. Subs: M. Rutherford, J. Bett, G. Patterson, N. Darling, C. Johnston.