Hawick derby goes right to the wire

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Hawick Linden 12 Hawick Harlequins 7


THE RBS Border Shield clash between Linden and Quins at the Volunteer certainly wasn’t a classic but it ultimately turned into a nail biter that had both sets of supporters on the edge of their seats right up to the final whistle.

Andrew Baillie made an early appearance from the Linden bench as Chris Telfer left for blood repairs but was able to return soon after. The home side took a 16th minute lead when Kirk Ford struck a nice penalty from wide on the right.

Although the Linden held the ascendancy, and the Quins were on the wrong end of the penalty count, it took until the 33rd minute for the Royal Blues to add to their tally when Ford put over his second penalty when the Quins handled in a ruck.

Just before the break the Quins were penalised again at the breakdown and a lovely strike from distance by Ford put his team 9-0 ahead at the interval.

Early in the second period the Linden brought on Andrew Baillie and Connor Tofts but there was little to excite the large crowd until Stuart Williams was penalised as the visitors pressed the home line. The centre was shown a yellow card and left the field looking somewhat bemused.

Euan Hair came off the bench to join his brother Stuart in the Linden pack. Shortly after Ford put over his fourth penalty goal when the Quins infringed in front of their posts to stretch the lead to 12-0. A tap free kick saw Shaun Fairbairn go off on a great run taken on by Andrew Baillie which ultimately came to nothing. A few minutes later Baillie departed to the sin bin as he paid the price for one too many penalties by his team.

With only four minutes remaining, from a tap penalty, Riki Kiore spun out of a tackle to touch down and Sean Peffers’ conversion suddenly gave the Quins hope of snatching something from the game.

Greg Baillie replaced Phil MacTaggart to complete a second set of brothers in royal blue as the Quins threw everything at the home line. With time almost up, a knock on by Quins on half-way was missed and they took advantage to work their way into good field position. They sucked in the Linden defence to create a massive overlap but inexplicably cut-back inside and the chance was lost.

Relief in the end for the Linden as they showed tenacious defence in the latter part of the game. However, they were in control at 12-0 and should have closed out the game from there but the Quins deserve great credit for the spirit they displayed putting the Linden under severe pressure for a prolonged period.