A dramatic beginning, a dramatic ending and loads of drama in between – Saturday’s free-scoring Border Amateur ‘A’ Division derby clash had it all and a little more.
Seeking revenge for a Waddell Cup defeat at the hands of Legion a few weeks back, Waverley got off to the best possible of starts by sailing ahead in the fourth minute.
Scott Craig hurled a throw-in high into the goalmouth, the ball was touched on and Chris Dunne did the rest by launching himself forward to find the net with a powerful header.
In the 10th minute, Waverley went further ahead. The Legion defence failed to clear a Jamie Richardson free-kick and Craig cashed in by firing home.
Waverley’s purple patch continued in the 18th minute with another counter which was to be the goal of the game.After latching onto a Jordan Yardley pass, Luke Cooper scampered down the touchline. The Waverley striker then fed Yardley with a return pass, and Yardley, in turn, surged to shoot home.
There was only one team in it at this stage, Waverley were firing on all cylinders and looking good.
Before the half-hour mark, however, Legion reduced the leeway. Following a Simon Philbin free-kick, the impressive Chay Caldwell produced a spot-on finish in beating Waverley keeper Kerr Brown with a well-placed chipped shot.
Minutes later, Sean Owens was just off target with a raging drive after being set up by man-of-the-match Caldwell.
With 36 minutes gone, Waverley regained their three-goal lead when the strong-running Yardley burst through to score after running onto a long clearance from Brown.
Towards the interval the woodwork came to Legion’s aid when a thundering Richardson free-kick cannoned off the upright.
Legion began the second half strongly and Sean Solley almost got his name on the scoresheet with just minutes gone.
Caldwell then had the ball in the net following a good move sparked off by Philbin but his effort was chalked off for offside.
Showing a new lease of life, Legion were now gaining the upper hand. Scott Duncan touched a Philbin free-kick just wide of the post before having a header saved by Brown from a Jamie Dickson cross.
After Scott Craig had came near to making it a nap hand for Waverley with a well struck free-kick, Legion pulled a goal back. Owens emerged the marksman on meeting a Ewan Gray free-kick.
Within minutes, Legion did it all again. Caldwell whipped over a cross from the right which was driven home by Philbin.
It was now game well and truly on and with four minutes remaining Legion’s fighting comeback continued with an equaliser. Duncan didthe business by scoring direct from a corner-kick.
It was certainly all happening in this battle of the two old rivals but more was to unfold and with seconds of the match to go a last-gasp winning goal arrived courtesy of Waverley’s Davis Hope who popped up at the back post to stick a shot into the net from a Craig throw-in.
Giving his thoughts on the game, newly-appointed Waverley manager Micky Hope, who was in charge of team matters for the first time since taking the reins from Neal McConnell, told the Hawick News: “I thought we played very well in the first half but in the second half we lost all of our shape. We started to panic and chaos set in. Legion had us on the rack but we managed to get out of jail at the end. The win we were after came our way as we got the three points and that’s what it is all about.”
Legion player/manager Mark Deans commented: “I’m absolutely gutted that we lost after fighting back from three goals down. However, you can’t expect to win games if you defend badly and that’s what we did. Three of Waverley’s goals came from set-pieces and this should never have happened. Poor defending cost us the other two goals as well.”
Hawick Waverley: K. Brown, D. Hope, J. Richardson, C. Dunne, N. McConnell, R. Cairns, S. Drysdale, P. Gellaitry, S. Craig, J. Yardley, L. Cooper. Subs: J. Robertson, S. Sharkey, C. Hope, G. Ford.
Hawick Legion: A. Willison, C. McCutcheon, G. Moffat, T. Craggs, S. Solley, J. Easdon, C. Caldwell, S. Owens, C. Hope, S. Duncan, S. Philbin. Subs: D. Fraser, E. Gray, M. Deans, J. Dickson, M. Moir.