Not so friendly friendly – tempers boil over in contentious bounce derby

Hawick 15

Kelso 7


Both teams were keen to get more game time under their belts before the next league matches, writes Norman Anderson.

The pitch was soft and the wind was strong down the length of the field, but the weather was bright and sunny.

The teams were both a little short of players due to injury or precautionary resting with more important games to come.

Kelso played into the strong wind in the first half and dominated possession, although they did not make much headway into the wind. However, Hawick soaked up the pressure and after running a free kick, they spun the ball along the line for winger Greg Anderson to burst through near the posts for Lee Armstrong to convert. This was the only score in the first half, leaving Kelso reasonably happy that they were to play with the wind only seven points down.

The second half started with some early Hawick pressure, but Kelso soon put points on the board with a Richard Minto try after he took a reverse pass from Frankie Robson and danced his way in near the posts for Kieran Willison to add the conversion and tie the scores.

Good pressure from Hawick took them into the Kelso 22 where they won a penalty for offside. Armstrong converted.

The game was very competitive for a friendly but the friendliness disappeared after an incident in a line-out when Hawick’s Michael Robertson was upended. Before the referee could make a judgement, Robertson showed his pugilistic skills with a smack to James Stevenson’s chops. Kelso missed the resulting penalty, as they did soon after from long range.

It was not to be Kelso’s day as Stevenson, who had been very impressive for Kelso, went down with a leg injury. Hawick’s Lindsay Gibson burrowed over for a late try to complete the scoring.

Hawick: L. Armstrong; G. Anderson, G. Johnstone, G. Hogg, G. Anderson; G. Cottrell, L. Lawrence; S. Muir, M. Landels, S. Linton, H. Scammell, K. Willison, N. Mactaggart, K. Davies, M. Robertson. Subs: L. Gibson; B. McNeil, R. Sutherland, S. Anderson.

Kelso: A. Haig; L. Mallin, R. Minto, F. Robson, G. Minto; K. Wilkinson, A. Tait; S. Lowrie, C. Riddell, A. Marsh, D. Seed, A. Wallace, G. Riddell, E. Ford, J. Stevenson. Subs: A. Haig, K. Cooney, C. Renton.