Hawick reach Irish sevens semi-final

James Rowley was among the scorers for Hawick Linden (library image).
James Rowley was among the scorers for Hawick Linden (library image).

A fantastic effort saw the Linden almost reach the final of the Carrickfergus Sevens on Saturday.

After winning both their group games they eventually went out in a rip-roaring semi-final to the BR Barbarians.

In their first tie, they met last year’s winners, Dungannon, and got off to a dream start, as tries from Jack Wilson and Craig Glendinning, which they each converted, gave them a 14-0 lead.

The Irish side hit back to level the scores before a Dave Montgomery try and conversion regained the lead.

An unconverted Dungannon touchdown meant the Linden were two points ahead until Glendinning converted his own try to complete an excellent 28-19 win.

Next up were Belfast Barbarians and the Linden romped to a 47-5 victory. Try scorers were John Coutts, Matthew Bell (3), James Rowley (2) and Kieran Murphy. All converted their own tries, with the exception of one by Rowley.

BR Barbarians contained four Ulster Academy players but it was the Linden who struck first, through Glendinning.

The Barbarians levelled, then took the lead with a seven pointer. Matthew Mallin touched down and, when he added the extras, the half-time whistle sounded with the tie all square at 12-12.

Two tries from the Babas, one converted, looked to have put the tie beyond the Linden. But a touch of class from Coutts as he scored a great individual try and conversion reduced the deficit to five points.

The Babas scored another converted try which appeared to be the clincher but yet again the Royal Blues struck back with a lung-bursting run from Blair Irving. When he landed the conversion from wide out, it was back to a five-point gap.

Although the Linden tried to the last, they just could not secure a dramatic comeback and they exited the tournament with heads held high.

Hawick Linden: C. Glendinning, M. Bell, J. Coutts, E. Wood, R. Graham, M. Mallin, K. Murphy, M. Parker, J. Wilson, J. Rowley, B. Irving, D. Montgomery.