Festive cheer for Greens after thrilling cup victory

Greens skipper Bruce McNeil (right) proudly holds the Skelly Cup for his Hawick team with Jed-Forest captain Gregor Young after a hard-fought match
Greens skipper Bruce McNeil (right) proudly holds the Skelly Cup for his Hawick team with Jed-Forest captain Gregor Young after a hard-fought match
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Hawick showed flaws but proved they still have the mettle to get the job done with a 31-29 Border League and Skelly Cup victory over Jed-Forest under the lights at Riverside Park on Wednesday.

The relief on the Greens’ sideline was palpable. It didn’t come until the final minutes when Hawick players, coaches and supporters knew they had won.

A collective exhale was visible as the Robbie Dyes had secured their first Border League win of the season, a moral boosting late-game fightback and the Skelly Cup.

Lee Armstrong was the savour as Hawick saw a 19-10 second half lead whittled down and overturned by an enthusiastic Jed-Forest side who thought they had the contest won leading 29-24 with 10 minutes remaining before Armstrong dotted down and Neil Renwick converted to secure a Greens win.

“It was a game that we all kind of thought was capable of happening, we weren’t surprised how good they were or how hard they made if for us,” said scrum-half Bruce Campbell.

“They played well. I mean they were the ones who have been winning games every week while we have been struggling so they were always going to be full of confidence.

“They were also keen to earn a scape over a side a division above them.

“It was just good to get the win.”

The Robbie Dyes were good enough when they needed to be – beating a Jed-Forest side 31-29 to stave-off what would have been a soul crushing defeat to a lower division opponent who could meet Hawick in a relegation play-off match-up if the Greens manage to pull themselves from their automatic BT Premiership relegation nightmare.

Fuelled by the desperation of the must-win stakes that now greet the Greens in every fixture, Hawick still could only muster occasional flashes of their recent high powered attack that piled 41 points on Ayr.

Tries from Stuart Graham, Bruce Campbell and a brace from Conor Gracie were not enough as Jed reduced a 12-3 first half deficit to take a 29-24 lead into the closing minutes before Armstrong levelled up the scores and Renwick sealed the Robbie Dyes sixth consecutive Skelly Cup win with his third conversion.

“The boys showed a lot of character to pull out the win after they had taken control,” added Campbell.

“We trusted our abilities and stuck to the plan. We knew we had guys who had scoring abilities so it was about getting them into positions.

“We kept pushing, keeping the ball away from them and eventually found a way though to get the win.”