Skeet double helps to dump Quins

Hawick Linden 27

Hawick Harlequins 0

RBS BORDERS REGIONAL SHIELD

WITH both teams out of the running for qualification from their group in the Shield competition, it came as little surprise that this match took a while to get going.

And even when it did, it didn’t get much beyond second gear.

There were 20 minutes on the clock before Quins’ Rory Anderson’s penalty attempt slipped wide.

Linden finally broke the deadlock seven minutes from the break as good hands from a line-out found Terry Skeet lurking out on the wing before the prop crashed over in the corner.

Linden increased their lead to 12-0 following another strong Goodfellow run. Some more good handling, with Stuart Renwick giving the final pass, led to Nathan Murray racing in at the opposite corner. Renwick added the extras.

Into the second period and a good counter ruck by Linden enabled Steven Bouglas to hack on from inside his own half right to the Quins line, but the centre stumbled just as he looked like scoring. With Quins defending furiously, stand-off Renwick fired over a drop goal via his weaker left foot.

With the visitors suffering injuries in their front row, the game went to contested scrums. Soon after, a neat Renwick grubber into the in-goal area saw Greg Thomson race on and dive for the ball as it neared the touchline, but no try was awarded and Linden were penalised for backchat.

Linden stretched their advantage with a straightforward score. From a scrum they broke blind and simple hands put Greg Thomson into space to touch down in the corner.

Shortly after, Goodfellow burst up the touchline. From the subsequent ruck, Skeet took a short ball at pace and broke through the Quins defence on the 22, running round behind the posts for a deserved second try. Renwick’s conversion was the final kick of the game.

Not a vintage performance from Linden, but they will be satisfied at securing a bonus-point win against a plucky Quins side.

Continuing where they left off last week, the front row put in a dominant performance at scrum time. After having some running repairs attended to in the first half, Skeet put in an impressive display in the loose, while Nathan Murray was full of running when the opportunity arose.

Hawick Linden: N. Murray; G. Thomson, S. Bouglas, S. Goodfellow, C. Gracie; S. Renwick, R. Hamilton; J. Gilchrist, C. Turnbull, T. Skeet, K. Mabon, S. Fairbairn, B. Willison, G. Wardle, C. Mitchell; Subs: S. Harkness, M. Kali, W. Barker, R. Beattie.