Redskins set up title-winning spot

Hawick YM 25

Murrayfield Wanderers 24


STUART CAMERON reports from Mansfield Haugh

Jammy McFarlane’s troops marched on towards the National League Division One title at the weekend with yet another victory, and in a fortnight they will visit RHC when a win in their final league match will see them crowned as champions, only a year on from winning Division Two.

The rise has seen the club go past the likes of Duns, Langholm and Berwick to be now ranked eighth in the area, which is quite remarkable. And with Peebles slipping down into the new Championship next season, which will also include YM, they will have a chance to claim seventh.

That’s all in the future, though. Right now, there’s a league and shield double to try and win, and on Saturday in blazing, sunny conditions, the Redskins had to get past Murrayfield Wanderers, who were very sharp and credible opponents.

After early injury blows to John Coutts (hamstring) and Stuart Graham (ankle), YM found themselves 14-5 down on 20 minutes, having leaked two quick tries by skipper Alex Cox and impressive scrum half Murray Johnstone, who showed great initiative, taking a tap penalty near his own line and scampering upfield for a solo touchdown.

Many clubs would have panicked, but not YM.

They regrouped and got stuck in. They turned round 20-17 ahead, scoring three first-half tries from Glyn Desport and a brace by Keith Millar.

Once their heads were in front, they were in control. Rory Scott and Dean McCracken added tries in the final period before Murrayfield scored a third touchdown by Chris Dove near the end. Although Ali Weir’s goal-kicking was not at its best, he still landed two penalties and two conversions.

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Hawick YM: C. Ritson; M. Graham, J. Coutts, D. McCracken, G. Desport; A. Weir, B. Campbell; B. Lilly, G. Douglas, W. Blacklock, G. Petrie, C. Robson, S. Graham, R. Scott, R. Hogg. Subs: K. Millar, A. Turnbull, S. Mabon.