Spirited Greens give their all for historic four-in-a row

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Hawick created history at their own Sevens tournament with a record-breaking fourth win in-a-row at Mansfield Park.

But they had to come from behind in the semi-final and final to take the trophy, displaying a never-say-die gutsy approach which carried on from their incredible result at Old Anniesland on Tuesday night when they pulled off what can only be described as a sensational win over Glasgow Hawks to wreck Peter Wright’s team’s chances of winning the Championship.

It was a very strong looking line-up for the Greens with former Scotland 7s internationals Rory Hutton, Alex Dunbar and Graham Hogg in the squad, with Graham’s brother Stuart – now a pro with Glasgow – also in the mix and another Hogg – Ryan – who scored tries for fun on Saturday.

It was Ryan who scored the injury time winner to slide past Jed-Forest when all seemed lost in the semi-final, and he got on the scoreboard once again in the final with the crucial last try when Hawick came from 12-0 down to turn the match around, eventually winning 22-19.

They had luck on their side too in the final when Fraser Harkness, Selkirk’s star sevens player, made a rare mistake by dropping the ball when clear of the line with the last play of the match.

The result took them into fourth place in the Kings of the 7s table after three rounds with 13 points, moving up to nestle in behind leaders Melrose (20), Jed-Forest and Selkirk (both on 15) before the Berwick tournament the day after.

Selkirk made it comfortably to the semi-final before losing out to Hawick. They got rid of Peebles in the other semi-final with a big score, but this was the sports Hawick wanted to win and they didn’t disappoint.

The draw for their own tournament certainly didn’t give Hawick any favours. They were up against Edinburgh Accies in Round 1 – no walkover by any means – but a controlled performance saw them through a potential banana skin 17-7 before taking on Edinburgh University, last minute replacements for Stirling County who pulled out of the competition.

The students couldn’t match the fizz of the Greens, who chalked up the biggest score of the competition with a massive 53-7 win in the quarter final tie. Stuart and Ryan Hogg collected a hat-trick of tries each with Gary Lowrie, Greg Cottrell and Garry Johnstone also getting tries.

The big test was always going to be in the semi-final against the classy Jed-Forest 7s outfit including the flying Young brothers and the magnificent Darren Gillespie. As the clock ticked towards full-time the dream looked to be over for Hawick. They trailed 10-14 before Ryan Hogg sprinted in to clinch the tie. One of the joys of the 7s circuit is watching the Greens flanker on the hoof. He probably has the biggest stride of any player in the Borders and seeing him at full tilt is a joy to watch!

Hawick dug deep in the final against Selkirk, scoring tries from Bruce McNeil, Rory Hutton and one each for Ryan and Stuart Hogg.

Hawick: B. McNeil, G. Johnstone, G. Hogg, A. Dunbar, S. Hogg, G. Lowrie, R. Hutton, M. Robertson, G. Cottrell, R. Hogg.