Hawick Linden’s second-half thrust earns them a share of the points

Hawick Linden 12

Trinity Accies 12


THERE was much shaking of heads after Linden’s draw with Trinity Accies at Volunteer Park.

Despite not playing particularly well in the first half, the Teries dominated field position in the second, but numerous scoring chances were squandered.

The Royal Blues started well. From inside their own half, Barry Sutherland, Greg Thomson and Steven Bouglas were all involved in some lovely running into the visitors 22. When the play was spread wide, Blair Irving was tackled into touch. Shortly after, Thomson went off on a great run and was tackled when, had he been able to offload, the supporting Sutherland would surely have scored.

But the Edinburgh side took the lead with a penalty from their stand-off, who soon followed up with a drop goal.

Having lost Lee Stewart to an ankle knock towards the end of the first half, replaced by Bradley Mercer, further changes were made at half-time as Stuart Williams and Jamie Gilchrist entered the fray.

After winning a line-out, albeit with what didn’t appear the straightest of throws, the Trinity stand-off showed his kicking class with a magnificent strike from around 40m to stretch his side’s lead to 9-0.

From this point, however, Linden were in charge. Unwisely, they took a quick tap with a certain three points on offer and skipper Sutherland pointing at the posts. They then should have scored in the corner, but failed to take advantage of a three-on-one.

However, they recycled and with the visitors’ defence sucked in, spread the ball wide and Greg Cunningham’s pass put Irving over, but to the disbelief of the Royal Blues a forward pass was called.

Five minutes later and Linden again looked sure to open their account, but once more failed to pass at the right time and Irving was held up. A minute later, Sutherland made a great break into the 22 and yet again Linden just could not finish off.

Finally, with 67 minutes on the clock, good pressure from Hawick forced a turnover and a wide pass from Irving allowed Conor Gracie to step off his left foot and go over for a try, which Sutherland converted.

Gary Wardle and Graham Colville came on to provide fresh legs up front – and it was the latter who plunged over for a try. But the conversion was missed.

The visitors levelled the scores with their third drop goal.

Hawick Linden: G. Thomson; N. Murray, S. Bouglas, B. Sutherland, C. Gracie; S. Renwick, R. Hamilton; T. Skeet, L. Stewart, C. Turnbull, S. Fairbairn, K. Mabon, W. Barker, G. Cunningham, B. Irving; Subs: S. Harkness, J. Gilchrist, B. Mercer, S. Campbell, S. Williams, G. Wardle, G. Colville.