Tweedmouth AFC are the proud holders of the Collie Cup after coming back from a goal down to blow Rovers away in extra time, writes Ronan Alexander.
With torrential rain hitting the Borders through the week, and more rain forecast, Earlston had no option but to postpone the Collie Cup Final on Saturday. However, through the terrific efforts of Thomas Scott, the teams got the match rearranged to Bridgend Park, Ancrum.
In a cagey first 10 minutes, both teams looked nervous to begin with, and no real chances being created, apart from set pieces which were all defended well by both sides.
It took 17 minutes for the first real chance, when Michael Moir raced down the wing for Rovers to find his strike partner Sean Clarke in the box, but his effort sailed narrowly over the crossbar.
More Legion pressure, brought a throw-in on the right, which Jordan Caldwell launched into the box. Moir held the ball up well and teed up Caldwell on the edge of the box, who rifled the ball into the top corner to give Rovers the early advantage.
Tweedmouth created several openings during the first half, with Nicky Clark getting to the byeline and delivering dangerous crosses into the area, but they were well dealt with by an organised Hawick defence, led by Caldwell and Clinton Sharkey.
With Tweedmouth winning all their games this season, going into the break 1-0 down came as a big shock to them and they made a brace of substitutions as they tried to change their fortunes.
One of these subs, Lee Lambert, almost found the equaliser with a curled shot with the outside of his foot that went agonisingly over the bar. He also had a free kick tipped away by Hawick keeper Kevan Miller. A succession of headed chances came the Amateurs’ way, but Sean Phillips and Lambert could not convert.
Craig McCutcheon and John Shankie worked tirelessly in the centre of midfield for Hawick as they tried to see out the final 20 minutes of the match. But with Tweedmouth pressing for an equaliser, the Teries gradually had to defend deeper and deeper.
Rovers looked dangerous on the counter attack. A quick break down the left hand side involving Jordan Gracie and Euan Gray led to Rovers thinking they had doubled their advantage when a misplaced back pass put Chay Caldwell round the goalkeeper to tap home, only to see the official’s flag up for offside.
A compact and organised Rovers defence, who gave absolutely everything, were eventually undone in the 88th minute when Martin Cornish bundled in from close range from a corner to send the match into extra time.
In the fourth minute of extra time, Tweedmouth took the lead with Cornish again scrambling home to give the men in black and yellow a 2-1 lead.
As the game went into the second half of extra time, the Legion players tired and Tweedmouth were clinical in taking their chances. Nicky Clark raced down the line to see his cross tapped in at the back post by Stewart Thompson to send the men from Berwick on their way to glory.
It soon became four in the 110th minute as Sean Phillips, who put in an excellent shift in the middle of the park, saw his long-range effort fly into the back of the net.
A late mix up at the back from Hawick sent Clark in on goal and he made no mistake in making the score 5-1 to give Tweedmouth a hard-earned cup final victory.