ATHOLL INNES @ Riverside Park
WITH Border League points also at stake and the opportunity to amend for disappointing starts to the season a week earlier, it was Hawick who dominated the first half facing a strong wind and held on to emerge the victors and also collect the local Skelly Cup. But to Jed’s credit, they battled hard in the second half with two tries and denied the visitors a bonus point.
Hawick coach Matty Douglas said that while his team failed to score a bonus point, they had played excellent rugby in the first half. “I just felt we were not clinical enough in the second half, although we can take positives from the game,” he said. “We were not helped by the yellow cards which let our discipline down.”
Andrew Brown, in his first season as coach at Riverside Park, said that it was an improved performance from the defeat at Currie a week earlier. “We were disappointed, “ he said, “However, I can take positives from the game.”
The first surprise was Jed’s decision to play Dom Buckley (an erstwhile back-row and centre) at stand-off, but Hawick were in early control and it was no surprise from a set-piece that the Greens countered quickly and Andrew Mitchell burst over to touch down and Kirk Ford converted for a 7-0 lead.
An expertly-played kick from Buckley took play to the Hawick line. However, Hawick countered quickly with a break by Hector Patterson which almost produced a score.
Hawick threatened every time they had the ball and when Jed were penalised, Ford kicked the points for a 10-0 lead.
The game was punctuated by a series of injuries, and Logan Gordon-Wooley replaced Kyle Brunton before the stand-off returned, and then Mitchell limped off with Gordon-Wooley returning.
Another penalty to the corner saw Hawick win the line-out and Patterson nipped over for a try to put the visitors strongly in the driving seat. Brunton missed the conversion.
However, Hawick were not to be denied and in first-half injury time they kicked a penalty to touch, won the ball, and Patterson danced over the line. Bailey Donaldson converting for a 22-0 half-time lead.
Jed saw more of the ball in the second half and were rewarded when a forwards’ drive saw Paulo Ferreira crash over the line and Buckley converted.
There was another chance close to the Hawick line, but the ball was knocked on, and it was Hawick who almost scored as the backs opened up at speed from their own half.
The visitors were seldom inside the 22 later in the game, however, and in the final 10 minutes had captain Matt Carryer yellow-carded. He was soon followed into the sin-bin by Callum Renwick, to leave Hawick with 13 players.
They counted the cost with Clark Skeldon scoring in the final play of the game.
Jed-Forest: L Young; G Young, R Marshall, R Ferreira, R Shirra Gibb; D Buckley, J McGough; G Paxton, F Scott, P Ferreira, G Young, C Skeldon, D Wardrop, B Roff, M Atkinson. Subs: J Storey, A Sweenie, G Law, A Bambrick, M Atkinson.
Hawick: B Donaldson; L Ferguson, A Mitchell, K Ford, R McKean; K Brunton, H Paterson; S Muir, M Carryer, R Macleod, D Redpath, R Linton, S Graham, C Sutherland, J Linton. Subs: C Renwick, N Little, HJ Donaldson, D Lightfoot, L Gordon-Wooley.
Jed-Forest: Tries: P Ferreira, Skeldon; Con: Buckley.
Hawick: Tries: Mitchell, Patterson 2; Cons: Ford, Donaldson; Pen: Ford.
Scoring sequence (Jed-Forest first): 0-5; 0-7; 0-10; 0-15; 0-20; 0-22 (h-t) 5-22; 7-22; 12-22.
Yellow cards –
Hawick: Carryer, Renwick.
Man-of-the-Match: Hawick scrum-half Hector Patterson has risen from the juniors to establish himself in the 1st XV. The No 9 was lively at the back of the scrum and earned himself two tries for good measure.
Talking point: The fighting spirit of the Jed team in the second half bodes well but the Riverside men seemed to be out of the contest at the break and were left to regret the loss of a try on the half-time whistle.