Hawick’s late show earns them Border League win over Kelso

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Hawick made it five wins from five on Saturday, but left it late to overcome a two-point deficit and secure the win at Poynder Park.

The Mansfield Park side have been guilty of wasting scoring opportunities in recent weeks with a poor performance against Selkirk only rescued at the death by a late Neil Renwick penalty.

Head coach Phil Leck was keen to see his side show a more clinical approach as they look towards important league matches with Stirling, Gala and Ayr over the coming weeks.

Neil McColm set Hawick on their way, taking advantage of a clear knock-on by Stuart Graham to elude the Kelso defenders. The pacey winger launched a kick-and-chase downfield leaving the home side clutching at thin air before he picked up and touched down. McColm dragged the resultant conversion side.

Kelso were celebrating a try of their own not long after the restart, following a period of intense pressure on the Hawick 22 by their forwards which resulted in Dom Buckley burrowing his way over.Matty Douglas added the extras to give the Tweedsiders a deserved 7-5 lead.

The hosts extended their lead through a well-struck Douglas penalty after Hawick were penalised for going over in the ruck. The home side continued to show adventurous, attacking rugby throughout the half but found it difficult to make significant gains against a strong Hawick forward pack.

Some staunch defending from the visitors then saw Kelso penalised for cynically killing the ball in the ruck. McColm stroked home the kick to reduce the home side’s lead as the Greens went in 10-8 behind at half-time.

The second period belonged to Hawick as their incisive attacking play and crushing defence helped them cruise past an exhausted Kelso outfit.

The Teri pack went close with a series of carries wide on the right, before Jake Evens put Kieran Willison over under the posts to finish off a spell of Hawick domination. McColm pushed the conversion across the face of the posts as the Greens took a 13-10 lead after 50 minutes.

Neil Renwick entered the fray midway through the second half, and gave Hawick a new attacking dimension. His pace and vision making it difficult for Kelso to cope with the Greens’ expansive style of rugby.

Renwick and Douglas exchanged penalties before the formerwrapped up proceedings, slipping in at the corner and sending over a superb conversion to rubber-stamp the 23-13 win for Hawick.

Coach Leck was pleased to welcome back Rory Hutton, who had been out for several months with an ankle injury, while Wullie Blacklock and Shawn Muir logged more game time as they make their way back from prolonged injury lay-offs.

The win puts Hawick in the Border League Group B driving seat with only Gala standing in their way of an appearance in the final against Melrose.