RBS NATIONAL LEAGUE
NORMAN ANDERSON reports from Poynder Park
FOR the second time this season Hawick travelled to Poynder Park to play local rivals Kelso – and again they left triumphant.
The hosts kicked off with the strong wind behind them and took an early lead with a Murray Hastie penalty.
Hawick responded immediately with a surging run from full back Lee Armstrong, only to be repelled by some stout Kelso defending.
Hastie and Armstrong swapped penalties before Kelso increased their lead when a Hawick kick ahead was fielded by Andrew Haig and the ball was shipped out to Richard Minto, who went over in the corner.
The hosts conceded a few more penalties and eventually referee Wells lost patience and yellow-carded Darren Gillespie for a team foul on 34 minutes.
With a man down, Kelso soon became stretched in defence and only a sound tackle by Dom Buckley kept the visitors out.
The pundits in the stand, however, felt that an eight-point lead might not be enough for Kelso facing the wind in the second half.
After the restart, Hawick worked their way to the Kelso 22 and rushed at the line, but a clearance by Buckley kept them at bay.
The score was not long in coming, though.
From a line-out, Nick McTaggart was driven over.
Armstrong converted to close the gap to a single point after 50 minutes.
Five minutes later, Hawick were in the lead when the reliable boot of Armstrong punished some Kelso indiscipline.
Hastie responded in kind, his task made easier when a Hawick player disagreed with the referee over some of the finer points of the law, but the hosts only regained the lead for a further five minutes, Armstrong slotting a penalty in front of the posts for another offside.
Going into the last 10 minutes, Armstrong kicked two further penalties for Hawick to stretch the lead to eight points.
Kelso threw everything into the game as time ebbed away, and after 84 minutes the Teries’ discipline cracked and they conceded a penalty.
The pitch was like a casualty ward as Shawn Muir retired hurt and Hastie received attention for a worrying-looking leg injury.
As Kelso contemplated who would attempt the shot at goal, Hastie recovered sufficiently well to strike the ball over for a valuable losing bonus point.
Kelso: A. Haig; F. Robson, R. Minto, D. Buckley, G. Minto; M. Hastie, A. Tait; K. Cooney, C. Riddell, S. Lowrie, I. Wallace, D. Seed, M. Robertson, E. Ford, D. Gillespie. Subs: R. Glendinning, A. Wallace, J. Stewart, A. Alexander, A. Haig.
Hawick: L. Armstrong; S. Anderson, G. Hogg, G. Johnstone, G. Anderson; R. Hutton, G. Cottrell; S. Muir, L. Gibson, L. Launders, C. Smith, K. Willison, S. Graham, N. Mactaggart, K. Davies. Subs: M. Landels, H. Scammell, R. Smith, S. McLeod, N. McColm.