Battling Wands miss out on Cup glory

Action from Saturday's under-18 cup final between Hawick Wanderers and Selkirk Youth Club

Action from Saturday's under-18 cup final between Hawick Wanderers and Selkirk Youth Club

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Border Under-18 Cup

Hawick Wanderers17

Selkirk Youth Club45

THEY may have left the Mansfield Park pitch battered and bruised – and in Fergus Hislop’s case in an ambulance – but the young players from Hawick Wanderers emerged with a great deal of credit, despite losing out in the final of the Border Under-18 Cup.

Wands coach Greg McLeod revealed he was minutes away from replacing hooker Hislop before the teenager suffered a ripped shoulder muscle down to his ribs after a second half scrum collapsed.

After a lengthy delay he was taken to hospital, but released later nursing only aches and pains.

He typified the effort and commitment shown as the Wands succumbed to an older, bigger Selkirk side.

After an even opening winger James Parker came to the rescue as he beat Harry Aynsley in a foot race and Sam Bandeen touched the loose ball down for a ‘22.

Selkirk were enjoying the lion’s share of possession but the Wands were holding up well in defence, with Martin Pringle and Ruairi Whillans putting in some huge hits.

Parker had a chance to show his attacking prowess when he stretched his legs down the wing, only to be stopped by Keiran Monks.

But the burst went a long way to setting up the opening try as the Wands worked the ball well from a subsequent scrum and Adam Hall sent winger Jack McColm over in the corner.

Selkirk, however, hit back almost immediately with a quick counter from the kick-off, finished off by Monks, with Callum McColm kicking the conversion – his first of five.

It raised a huge cheer from the Youth Club support and that got louder on the stroke of half-time when Aynsley grabbed an interception try.

And Ruari Wilson added to their try count after the interval.

After the long stoppage the game resumed and it was clear the Wands would have to get the next score, but it fell the way of Selkirk courtesy of stand off Callum McColm and James Bett notched their fifth try of the afternoon.

Parker gave the Wands support hope with a trademark burst from his own half that ended under the posts, but Selkirk replied with scores for Jamie Haughey and Lewis MacLennan.

Still the Wands had the final say when replacement Scott Glendinning went over in the corner.