Late night bash is bounced into touch

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It was never going to be the wildest of celebrations after Hawick RFC were soundly beaten by Boroughmuir in the BT Scottish Cup final at Murrayfield on Saturday evening.

Despite the 55-17 scoreline (see report on page 79), the Greens had hoped to mark their first appearance for 13 years in the climax of Scottish club rugby’s premier knock-out competition with a late-night “welcome home” party for the squad at the Mansfield Park clubrooms.

As reported in these columns last week, the club had applied for an extension to its licence to allow an extra hour’s drinking – from 1am till 2am – to accommodate the bash.

On the day before the final, Scottish Borders Licensing Board unanimously agreed to grant the one-off extension after hearing the event would not begin until 9pm and that it was restricted to over-18s.

But in order to assuage concerns from the police and an objection by licensing standards officer Ian Tunnah, the board also insisted the club must take on at least two SIA (Scottish Industry Authority) qualified door stewards to monitor comings and goings and keep noise levels to a minimum at the end of the party.

The board made that stipulation despite hearing that club members were prepared to steward the event themselves.

With less than 24 hours’ warning, it was never going to be easy to recruit the demanded licensed muscle on the offer of a single hour’s work.

And so it proved, with club secretary Rory Bannerman confirming: “While the party went ahead, we were unable to use the extra hour due to difficulties in getting licensed bouncers at such short notice.”