HAWICK YOUTH UNDER-17s
Hawick went into the SBJFA Chris Doyle Memorial Cup final on the back of two consecutive defeats to league champions Greenlaw, but a superb reverse saw them destroy the Berwickshire side’s double aspirations with a flawless 3-0 victory.
The players’ attitude, focus and effort, which had been questionable at various points of the season, was absolutely spot on in the biggest game of all, and with a score to settle, Hawick wasted no time from the kick off in showing their opponents things were going to be different this time round. Within five minutes Ross Scott was upended in the box, and it was Scott himself who made no mistake with the resultant penalty to give the Teries a dream start.
Resolute defending from the Hawick back four, and tireless running from the midfield five, stifled Greenlaw’s attacking instincts, while Ryan Brady’s ability to hold play up as Hawick’s lone striker was giving them a good ‘out’ ball. Despite a spell of Greenlaw pressure, it was Brady who came closest to scoring the next goal, unlucky to see his lob over the onrushing Greenlaw keeper go wide. Brady then had another chance to get his name on the scoresheet but he narrowly missed again.
With half-time approaching, Greenlaw got their first clear chances, but Bruce Connelly’s superb double save protected Hawick’s valuable lead. Further determined and aggressive defending saw Hawick hold out to half-time and gain a well-earned breather.
Hawick started the second period full of energy again, with literally every player buzzing around, hassling and harrying their opponents, snuffing out every Greenlaw attack. Before long, Hawick were starting to grind their opponents down, and opportunities started to present themselves. But only a goal behind, Greenlaw tried everything they could to force things. Hawick were not for cracking, though.
As the game wore on, Hawick were bursting a gut at every opportunity, and they were starting to look more likely to score the next goal, but still the game remained poised at 1-0. With less than ten minutes left, John Shankie got himself in between the Greenlaw centre-halves to prod a bouncing ball home to almost seal it for Hawick. The Teries’ confidence was brimming now, and a very good Greenlaw side looked dead and buried, unable to cope with Hawick’s relentless pressure and play. With just minutes remaining, Hawick were awarded a direct free-kick around 20 yards from goal, and Dale Drummond struck a peach into the top corner to send the large Hawick support into raptures.
Hawick not only got their hands on the big prize, but the players proved to everyone, themselves included, what they are capable of, saving their best performance of the season for the final day to make it a day they will never forget. Captain Jamie Dickson had the final act of the day to perform, in lifting the trophy aloft, to spark wild celebrations among the Hawick players and support.
Coaches Drew Lauder, Stuart Oliver and Ronnie Notman would like to thank the players for their efforts this season, especially in the cup final in which they were a credit to the town. The coaches would also like to thank parents for their support, and look forward to seeing them all at the end-of-season awards night at Hawick Royal Albert clubrooms on Friday, June 17.
Hawick YOUTH UNDER-17s: B. Connelly, B. McKendrick, A. Reilly, G. Moffat, M. Clamp, D. Drummond, D. Hope, J. Dickson, R. Scott, J. Shankie, R. Brady; Subs: M. Shepherd, A. Colville, N. McNally, R. Law, S. Somerville, L. Johnstone.
IN WHAT turned out to be a really exciting Jack Gilchrist Cup final, the first 20 minutes proved that Hawick and Kelso are the two top Borders teams at this age level.
Play raged from end to end with Kelso striking first blood. A few minutes later Hawick replied with a real belter of a left-footed strike from Logan Gordon-Woolley which hit the roof of the Kelso net. The young Tweedsiders hit back to regain their lead, after which Daniel Halkerston found the back of the net to make it 2-2 and complete a real nail-biter of a first 20 minutes.
Halkerston got his second with a predatory strike early in the second period. But no sooner had Hawick taken the lead than the Kelso boys decided to make it 3-3. There was now an exciting buzz about the game from both sets of supporters, and Kelso then edged ahead. Shortly before the second 20 minutes were up there was just enough time for a Euan Thomson corner which found Logan Gordon-Woolley, who lept high into the air to even the score with a well-placed header.
The final 20-minute period was always going to be a nerve-racking experience as both teams were playing well, but with Hawick having the most chances on goal it wasn’t long until Halkerston bagged his hat-trick to make it 5-4, and what a time to do it in a cup final.
Hawick were now dominating, passing the ball confidently and with the scent of victory. Brogan Anderson, who was made skipper for the final, was next to get on the scoresheet after dribbling the ball around a couple of defenders before releasing the shot of the game into the top corner of the net to seal Hawick’s 6-4 victory.
This is the fifth time coach Mick McEwen has won the cup final, and alongside coach Jordan Gracie, they have ensured the youngsters have been well prepared, while continuing to nurture their motivation to represent Hawick Youth at a higher level.
UNDER-13s: B. Anderson (captain), J. Brocky, S. Finn, B. Douglas, L. Thompson, A. Oldham, R. Alexander, S. Moore, E. Thomson, L. Gordon-Woolley, G. Lauder, C. Mcallum, L. Elliot, M. Mackenzie, B. Anderson, D. Halkerston, R. Spratt.
THE boys were split into two seven-a-side outfits, with Team ‘A’ playing five games, winning three, losing one and drawing one. First game was a 0-0 draw against a strong Gala side, after which they defeated Tweedbank 2-0, Greenlaw 3-0 and Duns 2-1. Their only loss came at the hands of Peebles (1-3). Goal-scorers were Kieron Manners 2, Cameron Mcreadie 2, Joe Douglas 1, Cameron Knaggs 1 and team captain Callum Murray scoring 1. Team (1) also had five matches, winning four and drawing one. Starting with three victories on the trot (Gala 2-0, Selkirk 1-0 and Melrose 2-1), the boys then went on to defeat Kelso 7-0, before finishing up with a 1-1 draw against Greenlaw. Goal-scorers for Team (1) were Aidan Burke (5), Charlie Hope (5), Matthew Linton (2), captain Ryan Luke and Ronan Mckean (direct from a corner kick).
The coaches were delighted with the performances and conduct of both Hawick teams, and the boys are now looking forward to challenging their parents in an end-of-season finale at Wilton Lodge Park (date to be arranged). The coaches and players would also like to say a huge thank you to parents and supporters for their help throughout the season.
Playing good football throughout, the under-10s kicked off their tournament with a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Leithen Vale.
Game two against Ancrum was a tight affair which Hawick won 1-0, while their third match also resulted in a 1-0 win, this time against Selklirk.
In their fourth game the young Teries turned on the style to beat Melrose 2-0, before taking care of Duns in their final match by two goals to one, courtesy of a late counter in what had been an evenly-contested encounter.
UNDER-10s: R. Middlemas, Z. Thomson, R. Olival, J. Aston, B. Murdoch, F. Gordon-Wooley, L. Shields, S. Kelly, J. Delaney, M. Roberts.
Hawick produced great-quality football to register two wins, one draw and three defeats against teams who have been together over a far longer period of time.
With the players giving their all in every game, even the defeats were close games. And the boys’ performance levels and fantastic attitude, even when losing, should be warmly applauded.
On a day when results were secondary, the under-9s also take the plaudits for the immense progress they have made, not just in this tournament, but over the whole season.
UNDER-9s: A. Antonici, K. Beattie, A. Beattie, D. Murray-Clark, C. Craig, J. Diver, S. Frizzel, D. Law, E. Luke, C. Sutherland, C. Tait, R. Tait.