The Greens lost that treasured trophy, played in memory of the late town sports commentator of that name, away to Edinburgh Academical at the end of September, but now, over two months later, it’s back home at Mansfield Park.
The hosts’ 24-22 victory against the capital side also keeps their title challenge alive, leaving them sitting in third place with 47 points from 13 games, four ahead of fourth-placed Accies and 11 behind league leaders Currie Chieftains.
That result was hanging in the balance until the last minute of the 80, though, Hawick having relinquished their first-half lead and let their visitors go in front. A last-gasp scrum penalty by Kirk Ford earned them victory, however, and means they go into the Tennent’s Premiership’s seasonal break within reach of the top of the table.
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Hawick’s other points came from tries from captain Matt Carryer, Shawn Muir and Stuart Graham, all converted by Ford.
Accies’ try-scorers were Clem Lacour with two and Finlay Simpson, with Jamie Loomes adding two conversions and a penalty.
Hawick head coach Matty Douglas says he’s glad to be back in possession of the Bill McLaren Shield, telling Borders Rugby TV: “Obviously we’re delighted with the win before Christmas at Mansfield.
“It was always going to be a hard game and probably a close game the way the table reads it, with a point separating us, and in the first half we played with a lot of tempo and a lot of accuracy, but we maybe let them back in with silly penalties and they stopped us playing the way we wanted to play, but we showed a lot of character at the end for the forwards to step up in the 79th minute and win a scrum penalty and up steps Kirk to slot the penalty home and we go in front by two points with 30 seconds to play and we see the game out.
“I’m delighted for the players, and obviously with reclaiming the Bill McLaren Shield as well, it puts us in a great spot going into the Christmas break and we look forward to our trip to Glasgow Hawks after that.”