Hawick feels the Force as Green squad wins Linden 7s

Can you feel the Force? Hawick Force, winners of the Linden Sevens (picture by Bill McBurnie)
Can you feel the Force? Hawick Force, winners of the Linden Sevens (picture by Bill McBurnie)

On a cool but dry afternoon at the Volunteer 3G, Hawick Force became the fifth different winner of the Hawick Linden Sevens, as they defeated the host side to clinch top spot in the round robin format.

Withdrawals from Jed-Forest, Langholm and Selkirk earlier in the week resulted in the remaining five teams playing in a single group, giving all sides four matches.

Gala YM defeated Earlston in the first tie of the day and then a Ryan Renwick try for Hawick Linden B opened the scoring against Hawick Force, before the Greens eventually took control.

The Linden A were comfortable 45-0 winners against Earlston, thanks to tries from Kieran Murphy, Jack Wilson, Matthew Mallin (2), Matthew Bell, Lewis Stormont and Liam Sharkey, with conversions from Murphy (2), Mallin, Bell and Stormont.

Tries from Ryan Ali and Jordan Brockie weren’t enough to prevent the Linden B falling to Gala YM, followed by Hawick Force romping to victory over Earlston 59-0.

Linden A were clinical in a 36-5 win against Gala YM.

Try scorers were Sharkey, James Rowley, Craig Glendinning (2), Euan Wood and Bell, with conversions by Sharkey, Stormont and Murphy.

The crowd was right behind Linden B as they shocked Earlston, with tries from Steven Drummond, Aaron Fletcher and Brockie, who also added a conversion, to win 17-7.

The next match was the closest of the day.

Hawick Force were always ahead but couldn’t shake off Gala YM, who came back to 19-19 and missed a kickable conversion to take the lead.

The Greens then scored a converted try and, although YM hit back, they were were wide of the posts once again with a kick that would have tied things up.

A Sharkey hat-trick of tries, along with others from Murphy, Wilson and Mallin, conversions from Kris Rowley (4) and Bell ensured Linden A defeated their B team 40-0.

This fittingly set up the final match of the tournament as the decider between the two undefeated sides, Linden A and Hawick Force, which turned out to be a thrilling game.

First-half tries from Glen Welsh, Callum Henderson and Jonathan Wilkes put the Greens 15-0 up at the break and seemingly on their way to victory.

However, a Glendinning touch down, converted by Kris Rowley, followed by a Mallin try from a James Rowley interception, put the game in the balance at 15-12.

A kick ahead by Bell almost resulted in a try under the posts but Grant Huggan was alert to just deny the threat.

The momentum had swung the Linden’s way and two penalties near the try line saw Hawick’s Murray Renwick shown a yellow card.

But the Royal Blues couldn’t find a way through the Force defence and the Greens held on to claim the win and the trophy.