GREENS supporters who made the trip to Glasgow were treated to a hard-fought, dour at times, but ultimately exciting game which ended up with honours even.
Improving recent form raised hopes of a third successive win over Hawks at Old Anniesland but the league leaders, with six wins out of seven games, were never going to give up easily.
The first 15 minutes of the match was a tightly fought, fast display of aggressive rugby from both sides with Hawick putting consistent pressure on their hosts. This resulted in a penalty which full-back Neil Renwick confidently placed between the posts.
Hawick’s lead was short-lived, however, as four minutes later, the Hawks backs made a good break and slick handling put their full-back, Gormley, over for a try which was converted by stand-off, Adamson.
This lead was extended to 10-3 after a penalty awarded against Hawick for a front-row infringement in the scrum was kicked by Adamson.
Hawks were growing in confidence and began to look the better side with good support and attacking rugby. Eventually, the pressure told and Hawick infringed in front of the posts with Adamson putting the hosts further ahead.
But Hawick’s heads didn’t drop and surging forward play in the midfield led to a break by Lee Armstrong giving the backs the chance to pass quickly out to winger Steven Anderson who scored in the corner for a try which Renwick was unable to convert. This left Hawick behind but very much in touch at half-time.
The second half started with more fast aggressive rugby with both sides having chances. Hawick had two penalty attempts from Renwick during this spell with both uncharacteristically going wide.
With 20 minutes to go the match was still very tight with all to play for. More Hawks pressure led to a penalty under the Hawick posts and Adamson put the hosts 16-8 in the lead.
Hawick came back strongly with excellent driving from the forwards in which Lindsay Gibson and David Lowrie were prominent and Hawick had another chance to reduce the deficit after a line-out infringement. Armstrong’s penalty attempt was pulled wide however, and with only eight minutes remaining, the game seemed to be slipping away from Hawick.
However, again the Greens forwards raised their game and, with superior fitness beginning to show, they produced a series of good possession which the backs used to great effect.
With only five minutes to go a slick handling move involving backs and forwards led to Graeme Anderson accelerating round the last defender to score in the corner. Armstrong’s good effort at the extra two points hit the post and bounced out.
By now, both sets of supporters were clock watching as Hawick continued to press for the crucial score and, with less than two minutes of play left, forced another penalty seven metres inside the Hawks half. Renwick resumed normal service by stepping up to the mark and put the ball between the posts, levelling the score.
All the after-match reaction in Friday’s paper.