HAWICK were in generous mood against Gala yesterday as they gave the Maroons a headstart at Netherdale.
George Graham’s side raced into a 15-0 lead as the Greens appeared shell-shocked from the opening whistle.
And although the visitors showed glimpses of a recovery in the second half, they were merely steadying a ship that looked to be sinking fast after just 20 minutes.
Ewan Scott kicked the home side in front minutes into the match with a penalty that rebounded in off the post.
And with Hawick starved of possession, and Gala relentless in their attack, Grant Somerville scorched down the wing for the opening try of the game.
The Greens’ scrum, in particular, was taking a pummelling, but it was from a line-out that the Maroons increased their advantage.
Former Mansfield Park favourite Opeta Palepoi was picked out at the back and he simply pirouetted before crashing over.
Scott slotted the conversion and an onslaught was on the cards.
Eventually, after 27 minutes Neil Renwick kicked a penalty to open Hawick’s account.
And when the full-back scythed through the Gala attack, only to be stopped short by another ex-Greens player in Rory Sutherland, the latter was shown a yellow card for not releasing and Renwick split the sticks once more.
But Hawick couldn’t make their numerical advantage count and it was at the other end, with a last gasp tackle by Steven Anderson on Grant Somerville that stopped Gala from scoring.
The try, however, was merely delayed and there was no stopping Graham Spiers, who dotted down for a try, converted by Scott.
Hawick came out after the break showing more promise and Bruce McNeil charged forward from a line-out to release captain Keith Davies who stretched his legs down the wing. Gala stopped that attack, but when the ball was shipped wide, they were powerless to prevent Renwick – Hawick’s most potent attacking threat all afternoon – from touching down at the corner.
The same player converted and there was a slight whiff of a comeback among the more optimistic of visiting supporters.
Veteran Tom Weir, however, all-but snuffed that out when he picked up at the back of the scum and went over.
And when Hawick lost Rory Hutton to an injury their cause looked doomed.
But credit to the Greens they continued to push and sustained pressure on the Gala line should have brought about a score, only for the ball to be lost forward after a number of phases.
And Gala showed them how it was done with a breakaway try from Gavin Young to complete the scoring.