Glasgow Hawks 31
ATHOLL INNES @ Riverside Park
GLASGOW Hawks held on to take the points in a dramatic game at Riverside Park in which Jed scored five tries to the visitors’ four and played much of the second half with 14 men with Dom Buckley shown a red card.
Jed also had Robbie Shirra Gibb yellow-carded while Hawks‘ Oscar Baird was also shown yellow near the end.
The incidents reflected the nature of the importance of the match, which left Jed still without a win and Hawks coach Andy Hill the happier of the coaches.
“It was a much-improved display from our defeat at Selkirk, but we still under-performed to what we can achieve,” he said. “To get maximum points was important and we should have put Jed to the sword.”
Meanwhile, Andrew Brown believes his Jed side is making progress. “The Young brothers and Rory Marshall were not available and that gave us chance to give other players an opportunity. I thought Owen Cranston was outstanding,” he said. “We are disappointed at the loss, but we are moving in the right direction.”
A minute’s silence was held ahead of the game to mark the passing of the Queen as Jed battled for their first win of the season, while Hawks wanted to improve on their last Borders visit when they lost to Selkirk.
With so much at stake, it was nip-and-tuck from the start with Jed producing the early pressure while Hawks defended well and it was a real battle for domination.
Jed won an early penalty for talking back from kicking range, but the hosts opted for a kick to touch and Hawks cleared their lines.
Hawks were the more aggressive side and were full of running even from their own half, with Lewis Walker making a decisive break only to be penalised for holding on.
It was Hawks who grabbed the lead when Andy McLean kicked a penalty from the ’22 in 12 minutes.
However, Jed’s resolve paid dividends six minutes later when a forwards’ drive led the way for Clark Skeldon to drive over for the opening try and Walker converted for a 7-3 lead.
But two tries in as many minutes from Eric Davey and Ross Darroch and two McLean conversions put Hawks in the driving seat.
The first came from a quickly-taken penalty and the second from another swift attack which ended with Darroch winning the race for the touchdown, and McLean converting.
As half-time approached, it was equally balanced until Shirra Gibb cut the deficit on the half-time whistle with a try and Walker added the goal points. Then he was wide with a penalty on the break with both sides desperate for points/
The game swung Jed’s way early in the second half even with Shirra Gibb yellow-carded when Walker scored, but he could not level the game with the conversion.
However, it took a twist the other way as Dom Buckley was shown the red card and Jed were left to fight out the last 20 minutes with 14 men.
Hawks were in the driving seat with the extra man and McLean and Callum Harrison took control with tries from driving play, their aggression proved crucial in both moves.
But the fighting Borders spirit showed for Jed as Harry Meadows scored and then Law in the dying seconds. Those scores were just too late, except for the consolation of two bonus points in defeat.
Jed-Forest: Tries: Skeldon, Shirra Gibb, Walker, Meadows, Law; Cons: Walker 2.
Glasgow Hawks: Tries: Davey, Darroch, McLean, Harrison; Cons: McLean 4. Pen: McLean.
Scoring sequence (Jed first): 0-3; 5-3; 7-3; 7-8; 7-10; 7-15; 7-17; 12-17 half-time, 17-17; 17-22; 17-24; 17-29; 17-31; 22-31; 27-31; 29-31.
Jed-Forest: L Walker; L Elder, O Cranston, P Ferreira, R Shirra-Gibb; D Buckley, J McGough; G Paxton, F Scott, P Ferreira, C Skeldon, G Law, D Wardrop, B Roff, G Young. Replacements: H Meadows, J Hynd, E Lauder, K Grieve, A Bandrick.
Glasgow Hawks: A McLean; C Ferrie, J Pickerton, R Flett, R Darroch; D McCartney, E Davey; M Downer, P Cairncross, G Strain, M Crumlish, S Leckey, L Stewart, A Syme, O Baird. Replacements: I Totic, A Al-agilly, D Sweeney, C Harrison, S Graham.
Referee: T French.
Yellow cards –
Jed-Forest: Shirra Gibb.
Red card –
Man-of-the-Match: Full-back Andy McLean was part of Hawks’ pace and driving power that put Jed on the back foot for long spells to add to his scoring prowess with a try, four conversions and a penalty.
Talking point: The closeness of the league points and Jed’s amazing fighting spirit when the game seemed totally of reach and their ability to win the try count and gain valuable bonus points.