Hawick Linden 74, Dunbar 19
Top of the Tennent’s East Region League 2 table Linden blew away fourth-placed Dunbar with a 10-try avalanche at the Volunteer 3G.
Playing some excellent rugby, the Royal Blues were 43-5 ahead at the break but couldn’t exert the same control in the second period after a raft of substitutions, even though Dunbar went down to 14 players because of injuries.
After the Linden won a Dunbar scrum, Rory Graham made a break and Craig Glendinning ran in at the corner to open the scoring after nine minutes.
This was followed by a super solo effortby Matthew Bell, who ran a great angle to break through on half way, then stood up the full-back to run round on the outside and under the posts, for Kieran Murphy to convert.
The long strides of James Rowley enabled the co-captain to run in try number three, which Murphy converted. Some strong running by Gary Peebles saw the Dunbar centre touch down and make the score 19-5 after 22 minutes.
The visitors then dropped the kick-off, which Glendinning hacked on, picked up and dived over to provide a lightning-quick response.
Three minutes later, Graham Colville attacked the blind side from a scrum and fed back inside for the supporting James Rowley to score, and Murphy added the extras.
When a scrum wheeled, number eight Colville picked and scored, with Murphy again converting, to extend the lead to 38-5.
The last try of the first half was a cracker. John Coutts made a lovely break from his own 22. He linked with Colville, back to Coutts and on to Graeme Anderson, who finished off a fantastic try.
If the first half had been a tough shift for Dunbar, the second looked like it was going to be even harder as two players were injured early on. With only one replacement remaining, they were down to 14 players for the rest of the match.
The Linden capitalised straight away as Colville picked from a scrum in the Dunbar 22, fed Anderson on a short ball, and he returned to Colville to touch down. Murphy’s conversion brought up the half century.
The Royal Blues emptied their bench and two of the replacements linked for the next score. Ryan Renwick did well to pick up a pass off his toes to send Kris Rowley sprinting over at the corner.
The Linden then gave away a series of penalties and, eventually, Dunbar number eight Daniel Philp stretched out to touch down, with stand-off Ross Charlton converting to make the score 62-12.
When the ball was worked wide to Glendinning, he stepped inside and then passed out to Graham, who finished off.
More hard running allowed Peebles to score his second try of the day for Dunbar.
However, replacement scrum-half Euan Wood had the final say as he darted under the posts and Kris Rowley’s successful kick completed the scoring.
Hawick Linden: M. Bell, K. Murphy, M. Mallin, G. Anderson, C. Glendinning, J. Coutts, R. Graham; J. White, P. Drysdale, S. Spalding, S. Hair, J. Wilson, J. Rowley, M. Parker, G. Colville. Subs: S. Donnelly, D. Montgomery, L. Sharkey, E. Wood, K. Rowley, R. Renwick, G. Scott.