Hawick hold their nerve to win in promotion push

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Hawick and Wilton recorded a five-wicket victory over Kirk Brae 2nds in ESCA Division 6 at Buccleuch Park on Saturday to ensure that they keep their hopes of gaining promotion alive.

Christo Beukes and Stuart Hair guided the Teries home within 28 overs as they chased down their target of 101.

After Kirk Brae won the toss and chose to bat first, opening bowlers Ryan Johnston and Neil Storey each claimed a wicket to reduce the visitors to 15 for two.

The visitors looked to rebuild and took the score to 42, before three quick wickets put Hawick in the driving seat as they restricted Kirk Brae to 45 for five. These wickets came through a run-out with a direct hit from Phil Mactaggart, before Hair and Gary Alexander each took a wicket apiece.

A rapid 39 from Kirk Brae’s Afzal brought the only fightback, but Beukes took three wickets in another excellent spell of bowling, with Gary Alexander notching the final wicket as the Edinburgh men were all out for 100.

It was another solid display in the field from Euan Hair as he claimed three catches in the innings.

In reply, Gary and Ronan Alexander made a measured start and took the score to 23 without having any real problems, before the latter was given out lbw and the former was bowled to put Hawick into a dangerous position. With the Buccleuch Park men having been all out for 90 in the away game at Kirk Brae, the fact they were reduced to 54 for five had nerves jangling, as if it could happen again with another collapse.

However, Beukes and Stuart Hair eased any nerves and coasted Hawick over the line as they both finished unbeaten on 35 and 28 in vital knocks.

The promotion chase took more twists and turns with leaders Old Contemptibles being defeated by Dunbar, which make the last three matches even more important as Old Contemptibles, Hawick and Livingston all compete for the closely contested title.