Hawick & Wilton endure season's first league loss as Selkirk gain revenge

Selkirk took revenge on Hawick with a 32-run victory at Buccleuch Park last Saturday.

Thursday, 12th August 2021, 2:12 pm
Justin Tait wields the bat for Hawick & Wilton (picture by Bill McBurnie)

There were some concerns about the weather but the rain never quite came and Selkirk were asked to bat first.Either batting line-up would have to overcome both the guile of the bowlers and the unpredictability of the wicket.

Harry Murphy didn’t last long but the score picked up pace with the arrival of Michael Fenton. He joined younger brother Greg who, up until that point, had been uncharacteristically patient.

They rattled the score on as the Hawick bowlers were becoming a bit sloppy and not making use of the pitch. Greg Fenton flicked three consecutive over pitched balls to the square leg boundary (including two sixes) off of the tiring Ryan Johnston (2-32).Hawick changed the bowling, and while one of these changes proved costly for the hosts, Gary Alexander (5-12) had an immediate impact and showed the way for all bowlers on the day with steady line and length.

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Greg Fenton (34) fell first and when the rested Johnston returned early to finish his overs, he took the wicket of Michael Fenton (19) with the score at 61.At this stage, Hawick may have been confident they could restrict the visitors’ scoring and get started on chasing down another low total.

Ian Gardiner managed to keep the score rolling along, smacking a four over the fielder at mid on and then followed up with two boundaries in the next over.

Alexander, however, was making short work of his partners, removing John Henderson and Jamie Hughes in short order, although the latter raised a few cheers with his

The innings ended with Phil McTaggart delivering the slowest arching full toss of the day, Josh Allan took aim and imagined the ball soaring over the high fence at square leg on to the rugby field, rather than what it did – plopping on to the top of the bails.For some, the total of 101 looked like an easy target but, for others, there was the suspicion that the Teries would find it hard in the conditions.Alexander, a thorn in the side of the Souters at Philiphaugh earlier in the season, opened with the fiery JustinTait and both looked at home in the middle, playing some elegant shots.

However, the longer grass in the outfield was holding water from earlier rain, so they weren’t getting the same reward as the Selkirk players who had taken a more aerial route.

After six overs they were comfortable, 28 runs to the good, and the opening bowlers frustrated enough for the captain to change himself out in favour of Daniel Alexander Heard. Michael Fenton continued and, despite a growing frustration, almost trying too hard at times, he began to get some reward, toppling Tait (12) who hadn’t looked totally at ease facing Fenton’s pace, nor the popping ball.

The game changed over the next four overs, with Heard giving nothing away and Fenton removing, in succession, Evan Alexander and then the important wicket of Gary Alexander (17).Having bowled all of his overs, Michael Fenton was replaced by Gardiner, who opened with a wicket maiden and the game then made sharp progress to its conclusion as wickets began to fall.

In the field, players took their catches – John Allan erasing the memory of that looping first ball duck to take two. Greg Fenton returned, with Heard having bowled his eight overs, and removed the last hope for the hosts as McTaggart (14) rapped the ball to Allan at gulley.

Gardiner (3-6) capped a solid all-round performance with the final wicket, ending the Hawick innings at 69 and giving the visitors a great win going in to the final fixtures of the season.