Hawick Linden celebrate 100 years of rugby with 31-0 win against Gala YM
Hawick Linden have kicked off their centenary celebrations at last after a lengthy lay-off forced on them by coronavirus restrictions.
A friendly against Gala Young Men on Saturday at Hawick’s Volunteer Park 3G pitch marked a return to action for the Tennent’s East Regional League division two side after just short of 17 months on the sidelines.
Just being back on a pitch after almost a year and a half out would have been cause for celebration in itself, but Linden went further by putting five tries past their division three visitors without reply, running out 31-0 winners after a game played over three periods of 20 minutes.
An energetic Matthew Mallin break saw the centre touch down at the end of the first period, with Chris Shand converting.
A Jack Wilson lineout steal followed by James Rowley bursting through the visiting forwards created a second try for Liam Sharkey, with Shand again adding the extras.
Next time out, the Royal Blues sucked in their Galashiels visitors’ defence and used space out wide for Sharkey to turn provider as Graham Colville strode over at the corner.
Rowley made another break into open prairie and drew the vistors’ full-back to send Mallin under the posts, and Shand converted once more to stretch the hosts’ lead to 26-0 at the end of the second period.
All of the Linden bench were used in a final period of play which saw Mallin secure a hat-trick of touchdowns after the ball was fired along the line and Stuart Hair provided the final pass.
Both teams contributed to a great game with surprisingly few signs of rustiness evident after such a long time without playing.
Whilst coach Barry Sutherland’s Royal Blues dominated the scoreboard, YM had their chances too and exerted some pressure, but they were denied by two superb cover tackles by James Rowley and Graeme Anderson, as well as the tackling machine that is Kieran Scott.
Linden: J Frew, L Stormont, M Mallin, C Gracie, C Glendinning, C Shand, E Wood; J White, R Ali, M Boyle, J Wilson, J Rowley, L Sharkey, K Scott, G Colville. Subs: A Fletcher, S Hair, O Young, G Scott, R Graham, G Anderson, J Brockie.