RBS BORDER REGIONAL CUP
THERE was no sign of an inferiority complex as Hawick YM came perilously close to causing an upset against Selkirk in the RBS Border Regional Cup on Saturday.
The signs looked ominous as a strong Selkirk, playing into the wind, raced into a 14-0 lead after just eight minutes with tries from Darren Clapperton and Fraser Harkness with Michael McVie converting both.
But the Redskins hit back with a thumping kick from Gregor Welsh which took play inside the Selkirk 22. Craig Robson’s charge to the line was halted but when the visitors were penalised, Bruce Campbell took a quick tap and burrowed his way over.
The Redskins kept up the pressure, forcing Selkirk into mistakes and Ross Armstrong came close to scoring but was stopped just short.
With Selkirk continuing to struggle for set piece ball, YM pressed home their advantage and three successful penalties from Welsh brought the scores level with 30 minutes gone.
Not long afterwards Redskins number eight Ryan Hogg was shown a yellow card, with Neil Darling following him into the sin-bin minutes later.
A minute before the interval Welsh had the chance to put YM into the lead from a penalty, but his attempt was off-target.
The introduction of prop Wullie Blacklock from the home bench was putting Selkirk’s scrum under even more pressure, and good work by Matt Kissick at a line-out on YM’s 22 was nullified when the YM pack pushed the visiting forwards off their own scrum ball.
Even with the wind at their backs, Selkirk were finding it hard to break down the Redskins’ defence, and penalty misses by McVie meant the scores were still level going into the final quarter.
The game’s turning point came in bizarre fashion. Dean McCracken’s 22 drop-out kick was blown back towards the YM’s right winger, whose fumble allowed Scott Hendrie to hack the loose ball over the home try line and dive on it to register the visitors’ third try. McVie added the conversion.
The final stages of the game were played out in the visitors’ half, with YM applying constant pressure. Just when it looked as though the Redskins were going to make the decisive breakthrough, Selkirk openside Angus Duckett saved the day with a timely turnover under his own goalposts, allowing McVie to boot the ball downfield.