East shades West in alternative all-Hawick encounter
There has already been talk of adding this game to the Christmas calendar after the Greens and the Reds served up a hugely entertaining encounter.
Jed-Forest had withdrawn from the customary Skelly Cup match on Boxing Day between themselves and the Robbie Dyes, so Hawick arranged an all-Teries clash as an alternative rugby attraction alongside the festive celebrations at Mansfield Park.
East won the game by a singel point but it was seen as a great occasion, in the spirit of Borders rugby at this time of year, and a very valuable workout for the players.
The game echoed the traditional Borders game of hand ba’, last played in the town around a century ago.
Admission was free but spectators were invited to donate to Meningitis Research, the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, and the fund for a new bladder scanner at the community hospital.
East squeezed home with a pair of tries by James Delaney and single scores by Lewis Ferguson and Jay Linton, with a Bailey Donaldson conversion.
West countered with two tries by Stuart Graham and one by Aidan Fairbairn, with all three converted by Kirk Ford. Ronan McKean lucklessly missed a last-minute penalty goal.
Comments on social media were very positive, with one tweet saying: “Sometimes, great things happen when you least expect ... think the East v West idea was inspired ... this should become a regular Christmas holiday fixture, if possible,when our home grown talent can be on show and seen by all.”
A Facebook comment said: “Today was an exceptional and exciting day at Mansfield.”