Hawick football clubs resume Heads Together Cup contest after Covid lay-off

Hawick Waverley defeated their Hawick United counterparts on Saturday to reach the final of the Heads Together Cup, a tournament devised by the town’s football teams in aid of a mental health charity based there.

Davis Hope of Hawick Waverley rises highest in the rain in the Heads Together Cup match with Hawick United (all pictures by Bill McBurnie)
Davis Hope of Hawick Waverley rises highest in the rain in the Heads Together Cup match with Hawick United (all pictures by Bill McBurnie)

Waverley defeated Hawick United 4-1 to ensure a meeting on Saturday, July 17 – versus United again or Hawick Legion – at a venue to be determined.

Ironically, United hosted Waverley in the same contest in mid-December last year, and it turned out to be the last competitive fixture for both clubs until Saturday’s encounter, nearly seven months later.

Two group games have still to be played. Hawick United face Hawick Legion tomorrow, and Hawick Legion take on Hawick Waverley on Tuesday evening.

There's still more action to come in the Heads Together Cup, involving Hawick teams Waverley, Legion and United, before the July 17 final.

The whole event is in aid of Heads Together, a mental health initiative spearheaded by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, which combines a campaign to tackle stigma and change perceptions on mental health with fundraising for a series of innovative new services.

Waverley’s Facebook page reports that they got off to a great start at Wilton Lodge Park, taking a fourth-minute lead.

Jordan Yardley popped a free kick into the area and, when the ball fell kindly to Matthew Linton, he swivelled and fired home from 12 yards.

The home side were on top and doubled their lead in the 26th minute when a speculative shot from Scott Duncan 25 yards out squirmed out of the keeper’s grasp and into the net.

A pensive-looking Geo Shepherd, manager of the newly-created amateur outfit Hawick Colts, assesses the action during their first-ever fixture, against Stockport Cosmos, which Colts won 7-4.

Duncan turned provider early in the second half as his corner was met on the volley by Yardley, who found the net with a fine strike.

Waverley made it 4-0 with 20 minutes remaining as Yardley ran on to a superb through ball from substitute Bryan Tait to slide the ball into the net.

With both teams tiring, United reduced the deficit when Jodie Easdon slotted home, beating Michael White with a measured finish from 16 yards.

Also at Wilton Lodge Park, the newly-formed Hawick Colts amateur team were playing their first game since being created and voted into the Borders Amateur Football League’s C division in May.

Aaron Swailes, for Colts, in yellow, eludes a Stockport opponent (picture by Bill McBurnie)

The Colts, managed by ex-Hawick Royal Albert United boss Geo Shepherd and packed with many well-known names from around the town, found the net seven times against their first-ever opponents, Stockport Cosmos, who’d travelled up from Cheshire.

Kevin Strathdee, Callum Hope and Sean Clarke were all on target for Hawick Colts, and Liam Lavery and Nathan Gillie also scored two goals apiece.

This Saturday, the Colts are off to Innerleithen for a second pre-season friendly, kicking off at 2pm against Leithen Rovers.

Also last Saturday, at Happer Park, the late withdrawal of Hawick Royal Albert United reshaped the Neon Law Cup, organised in March by Greenlaw, into a one-day triangular tournament with 60-minute matches.

Goalscorer Liam Lavery, left, gets in a fine tackle for Hawick Colts as they take on Stockport Cosmos in their first competitive game (picture by Bill McBurnie)

The hosts were joined by two clubs from the Lothian and Edinburgh Amateur Football Association – Premier side Tollcross Thistle, who won the event, and Championship outfit Pencaitland, who finished in second place.

The action between Hawick Waverley (in black) and Hawick United (orange) was keenly contested (picture by Bill McBurnie)