East shades West in alternative all-Hawick encounter

Hawick East......................22

Monday, 30th December 2019, 6:15 pm
Andrew Mitchell with the ball, supported by Jamie Grant, for Hawick East, in red, with Matt Carryer and Daniel Suddon for Hawick West (picture by Bill McBurnie)

Hawick West......................21

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Jed-Forest had withdrawn from the customary Skelly Cup match on Boxing Day between themselves and the Robbie Dyes, so Hawick arranged an all-Teries clash as an alternative rugby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.

Jamie Grant tries to get to grips with Hawick East's Bailey Donaldson, in red (picture by Bill McBurnie)

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.”