BORDERS SEMI-JUNIOR LEAGUE
AFTER an 8am pitch inspection, the game at Jedburgh was given the go-ahead only for the decision to be reversed at the last minute which meant both teams had to make the short trip up the A68 to St Boswells.
This was a very different game to the last meeting between the two clubs which was a very open game. This time the majority of the game was fought between the two forward packs.
It took Jed only five minutes to get on the board through great work from a scrum just inside the Wands 22. A good strike and drive had the Hawick boys on the back foot and they failed to cope with the forward momentum of the Jed pack and they went over near the corner. The conversion was dragged across the posts and the score remained 5-0.
On 13 minutes, while chasing his own up and under, Darcy Graham was carded for a high challenge on the Thistle full back. To the Jed player’s credit he took the accidental arm across the neck sportingly and got up and shook Darcy’s hand. Despite the cries for red from the opposing touchline, the ref saw it for what it was and flashed the yellow.
The Wands were competing well in the forwards and despite being driven back for the Jed score their scrum was holding strong and there was really nothing between the two packs, John Gray and Robbie Linton both showing well for the Wanderers.
The second half continued in much the same pattern with a stalemate in the middle of the park, Jed kicking an awful lot of ball and the Wanderers trying to play their running game but ultimately being crowded out by good defending. Then Thistle got a good push on and had a spell of pressure inside the Wanderers 22 and they got their reward as the Wands were penalised at the breakdown. The resulting kick from centre field 15 metres out was despatched easily to increase the Jed lead to 8-0.
Ten minutes later and Jed were in again. After some good pressure again from the Jed pack the Wands conceded a penalty just inside their own half and the resulting kick found touch about five out from the Wands line. Jed won good ball from the lineout and drove well to push over for their second try of the game. The conversion was again pushed wide and it remained 13-0 Jed.
Before the final whistle the Wands had a great spell of pressure and the consolation score looked on but, with men over, the play broke down as the ball was spilled out wide, and the ref brought a scrappy affair to an end.
With the league now out with the Wands’ reach and perhaps with one eye on next week’s Bowl match against Whitecraigs, the coaches rang the changes during the game with most of the boys getting a good run-out. Jed stuck to their game plan well, the win bringing them ever so close to a well-deserved league crown as they remain unbeaten for the season.
n TOMORROW’S National Under-18 Bowl semi-final between Hawick Wanderers and Whitecraigs is being sponsored by Mr and Mrs K. Baillie and Elite Decor. Teas: Hutton, Butcher. The match kicks off at Volunteer Park at 2pm.