Greens keep up Border League title charge

Hawick's Keith Davies causes Jed all sorts of problems at Riverside Park
Hawick's Keith Davies causes Jed all sorts of problems at Riverside Park

Hawick remain unbeaten in the Booker Border League following their 35-14 Boxing Day win over Jed-Forest at Riverside Park.

Friday’s derby clash, which attracted a good-sized crowd, saw the hosts playing with enough vigour to give Hawick problems, particularly in the second half, but it was the Robbie Dyes’ Premiership quality that proved to be the difference.

The Greens wore the home side down with a powerful set-piece that set the platform for them to run riot in the first period and earn their third Border League win in a row. Victory has the club in a strong position to end the dominance of Gala and Melrose in the competition and hopfully win the title for the first time since 2007.

Tries from Keith Davies, Wullie Blacklock, Matty Douglas and Sean Goodfellow, plus four conversions from Douglas, gave Hawick an insurmountable 28-0 lead at the break. Second-half replacement Greg Cottrell then rounded off the scoring with a solo try, Douglas again converting, to complete the 34-14 victory and claim the Skelly Cup.

Greens vice-captain Bruce McNeil told the Hawick News: “We played well against a very good Jed side and got another positive victory.

“The young lads who haven’t had much game time recently did well which shows just how far we have come and how deep our squad is.

“The main motivator after this result is that we are unbeaten in Border League play and have another possible trophy to fight for.”

After a very physical opening period in cold conditions, Hawick put the first points on the board with Davies crashing over from close range, and Douglas landing the conversion.

The Greens took the game to their hosts and their strong forward play was rewarded when Blacklock drove his way over the line, with Douglas again converting to put the the visitors 14-0 up.

Another two touchdowns followed from Matty Douglas and scrum-half Sean Goodfellow, both of which were converted by the faultless Douglas, with Hawick leading 28-0 at the turnaround.

From the restart, replacement scrum-half Cottrell made his presence felt immediately, snatching possession from a hapless Jed attacker to race home untouched and add a fifth try.

However, from here on, Hawick found Jed a much tougher nut to crack, and the hosts were able to mount their first prolonged spell of sustained pressure. And backed by a large home support, Jed showed much better poise and control to outscore the Greens in the second period.

Deft hands from the home side’s quick backline were finished off by centre Jesriel Kraft and winger Robbie Shira-Gibb, converted by Kraft and Daniel Ritchie, which gave the home crowd something to cheer about but Hawick held on to win.

Hawick: S. Peffers, S. McLeod, L. Armstrong , J. Coutts, M. Douglas, S. Goodfellow, W. Blacklock, L. Gibson, N. McLennan, M. McKee, K. Davies, S. Fairbairn, N. McColm, B. McNeil, M. Robertson. Replacements: G. Cottrell, A. Weir, R. Graham, R. Gibson.