The Greens in bid to win extra-time

Hawick Rugby Club is hoping to secure victory of a different kind this weekend by winning a late license application for the clubrooms.

But the Mansfield Park outfit faces stiff opposition from the police, as well as strict rules from Scottish Borders Council officials, if its bid to stay open for an extra hour till 2am following the final of the BT Scottish Cup against Boroughmuir at Murrayfield tomorrow, is successful.

It is the Hawick game’s kick-off time of 5.45pm at the national stadium - which win or lose, will see the team and supporters not returning to Hawick until around 11pm - that has prompted club secretary Rory Bannerman to lodge the application to allow the clubrooms to stay open longer, allowing a proper welcome-home party for the fans, players and officials.

But the decision will be made by the Scottish Borders Licensing Board today (Friday), and police have not backed the one-off application.

In a letter to the board, Chief Inspector Andrew McLean states: “While it is accepted this function will provide significant entertainment, there is no reason why it cannot be accommodated within the current on-sale hours.”

He concludes: “The Chief Constable cannot support the granting of this license.”

Reservations about the one-hour extension are also expressed by Ian Tunnah, Scottish Borders Council’s licensing standards officer.

He says that if the board is minded to grant the application, it should insist that licensed stewards are deployed to control noise from the clubrooms and ensure guests are safely and quietly dispersed.

Club vice-president John Thorburn told the Hawick News: “It is due to the late kick-off time and circumstances outwith our control, that we have applied for this late license. We wouldn’t have bothered if it was a 3pm kick-off, but we just felt we wanted to be open for the supporters and want to finish the day with a proper thank you to the team as well.”