YM clinch promotion with first-half effort

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Hawick YM 39

Garnock 7

NATIONAL DIVISION ONE

ROB HILL reports from Mansfield Haugh

WHEN the season kicked off in August a realistic goal would have been a top four finish.

The Redskins duly achieved this on Saturday, and more, but the atmosphere at the end of the match felt more like a defeat and relegation rather than celebrating a promotion.

Having literally blown Garnock away in a first half that produced six tries, the second half was the complete opposite – the visitors displaying renewed vigour with the wind at their tails and YM taking their foot off the gas thinking the job done. In the event Garnock won the second half, scoring their only try 10 minutes from time, the first side to cross the Mansfield Haugh whitewash since December 3 last year.

What preceded this in the first 40 minutes was a Redskins procession producing some excellent rugby and some sublime tries. John Coutts grabbed a brace in the first 10 minutes, either side of one from Chris Ritson.

Michael Graham scored another spectacular try in the 16th minute as he rounded off a free flowing move and Garry Douglas scored under the posts in the 29th minute as the pack rumbled forward. Six minutes from half-time, Craig Robson scored an opportunist try after picking up a loose throw at the back of the line, and two conversions by Matty Douglas saw YM cruising 34-0 at half time.

The second period saw the Hawick defence put to the test, but the dynamism of the first half failed to be reproduced, with the only score for the Teries coming in the last minute by Glyn Desport.

Officially, YM and Musselburgh are now promoted and both sides are still in the hunt for a league and cup double, which makes for an exciting conclusion to the season.

Hawick YM: C. Ritson; M. Graham, J. Coutts, D. McCracken, G. Desport; M. Douglas, B. Campbell; B. Lilly, G. Douglas, A. Turnbull, G. Petrie, S. Mabon, C. Robson, S. Hill, R. Hogg. Subs: F. Robb, K. Millar, G. Welsh.