Quins claim bragging rights over Linden

Harlequins' Neil Douglas sparks a raid into Linden territory.
Harlequins' Neil Douglas sparks a raid into Linden territory.

Hawick Harlequins 20

Hawick Linden 0

Harlequins lived up to their pre-match favourites tag by winning Saturday’s East League Division 1 derby against local rivals Linden.

However, the Royal Blues gave their all and pushed the home team hard. It wasn’t the easiest game on the eye with heavy underfoot conditions being partly responsible for a number of unforced errors.

The threat of the Quins backs was quickly evidenced after six minutes as good hands and hard running, aided by poor Linden tackling, ended with Adam Hall scampering over for the opening try following a great break by full-back Graeme Lothian. Hall missed the resultant conversion attempt.

The visitors’ cause wasn’t helped as centre Will Barker retired injured after 17 minutes, prompting a reshuffle as Euan Hair moved to the midfield and Liam Sharkey came on from the sub’s bench.

As the game approached the half-hour mark, a charge upfield saw Quins’ Finlay Robb plunge over under the posts from a maul on the Linden Line. Hall made no mistake with his kick to put the Baker Street men 12-0 in front.

The hosts were dominating and another good move, beginning with a good lineout catch-and-drive, allowed the ball to be spread out wide to Sam Bandeen who showed his pace with a try in the corner.

Following Linden hands in a ruck, Hall slotted a penalty goal with the last kick of the first period to put his team 20-0 ahead at the break.

The second half kicked off and Linden played up into the Quins red zone, but the home defence kept them at bay. Scrappy play by both sets of players, who were tiring in the heavy conditions, ensured there was no further scoring and Quins emerged the victors by 20 points to nil.

Graeme Anderson had one dazzling run into Quins territory but, when the ball was moved wide, the Royal Blues were squeezed out at the corner.

It was a game of two halves for Quins, who attacked well in the first half with outside backs Darrin Robson, Adam Hall, Sam Bandeen and Graeme Lothian all looking lively. When Linden raised their game in the second half, the Quins’ forwards and backs all defended very well with Bryan Hall to the fore. Up front, Liam Nichol and Ieuan Elliot showed up well in a hard-working pack.

Anderson was undoubtedly the biggest threat for the Linden with some great runs, thumping tackles and one superb catch from his own high kick ahead. The Linden forwards worked hard, as did the backs who were up against useful opposition. The visitors will be disappointed not to have got on the scoreboard but there are definite signs of progress from the heavy defeats of the recent past.

Hawick Harlequins: G. Lothian, A. Hall, D. Robson, N. Douglas, S. Bandeen, G. Douglas, B. Hall, I. Elliot, F. Robb, I. Thomson, A. Pretswell, L. Nichol, C. Kyle, J. Hyslop, S. Desport. Subs: A. Bell, R. Lothian, L. Martin, G. Renwick.

Hawick Linden: G. Anderson, S. Grant, C. Richardson, W. Barker, R. Graham, G. Stirling, S. Beattie, J. White, P. Drysdale, R. Beattie, S. Spalding, S. Hair, J. Hogg, E. Hair, B. Keown; Subs: A. Fairbairn, L. Sharkey, G. Baillie, C. Tofts.