Hawick suffered more Mansfield Park frustration as a developmental Peebles side run out 25-19 winners in the Border League.
There has not been a lot of joy to be derived from Mansfield Park lately.
Hawick and achievement have not been acquainted much this season, winning just three BT Premiership games, and while on paper it looked like things got even worse under the lights on Friday against National Division 2 side Peebles, the Robbie Dyes were making things worse in order to get better.
Hawick did lead 19-17 with 20 minutes remining, courtesy of a brace of tries from Sam Bandeen and a single Kirk Ford effort, Kyle Burton adding a pair of conversions, before an experienced Peebles side eventually found their stride to score two late tries and a penalty to snatch victory.
“It wasn’t that bad, the team we had out there put in good shift and let people see the talent coming through the town,” said Teri full-back Matthew Douglas, who was making his first appearance for the Greens this season after suffering a hip injury during pre-season.
“When the game got into the final 20 minutes and the physicality increased they took over.
“For a development side, who had one training session as a group on Thursday night, the performance was there, just a bit of experience to see the game out was missing.”
Hawick, like Peebles, fielded a development side made up of players from Hawick, YM, Harlequins and Linden as head coach Nikki Walker moved to unearth possible talent that could help his side in the short term but more importantly provide supporters, and the club, a glimpse of the future.
Despite their unfamiliarity with one another, Hawick appeared to have Peebles figured out early on, taking a 14-10 lead into half-time with two terrific scoring drives in which the Greens picked apart the Peebles defence.
Greens winger Bandeen used his stunning pace to cross the whitewash twice, while Brunton was perfect with his conversion attempts.
The Visitors were forced into bad decisions because of Hawick’s surprisingly quick defensive efforts, but as the second half got under way the Greens lack of playing time together began to show as momentum swung Peebles way.
The Gytes men ran in two simple scores against one from Kirk Ford to take the victory and Border League points.
“I think the Border league will be treated like this for the rest of the season so there will be more opportunities for guys who play for the other sides in the town to really show what they have,” added Douglas.
“With YM not playing, it offers boys another way to test themselves against tougher opposition that can only bode well for the future of Hawick rugby.”