Hawick 38

Selkirk 29

Atholl Innes at Mansfield Park

SELKIRK were denied only by an injury-time try in a gripping BT Cup tie on Saturday at Mansfield Park after a match that was a potential measurement for next season.

With Hawick battling against relegation from the Premiership and Selkirk striving for promotion to it, the Souters’ team manager, Tom Ramage, felt that his side possibly deserved to go on to the quarter-finals.

“It was close at the end, but the Hawick pack proved crucial. I think that we took more positives out of the game and I was chuffed with the way that the boys played,” he said.

Ramage had a right to feel disappointed after a sterling performance that saw Selkirk score four tries (Hawick just edged it with five) and to lead three times in a game that could have gone either way.

“If we could play like that every week, I would be very happy with them.

"The boys stuck in well and the last try was a wee bonus for Hawick,” Ramage added.

In the end, it was the prominence of the pack and the dominating play of captain Bruce McNeil that helped to end the Hawick duck for its first win of the season.

But while coach George Graham felt that the win would boost the side’s confidence, he was not happy with the overall performance.

“The win was a long time coming, but we cannot be happy as the game was very error-strewn, “ he said.

“We did not control the ball as much as we would have liked.”

There was little to indicate what was to happen when Callum McEwan raced in for the opening try after five minutes before the match ebbed and flowed like the proverbial tide.

It was all-square (15-15) at half-time as Fraser Renwick touched down in the 44th minute following a try from Guy Graham to counter scores from McEwan and Gavin Craig, Ali Weir and Josh Welsh sharing the kicking duties with conversions and penalties.

The second half was equally wide open, McNeil and Shawn Muir scoring for Hawick and Welsh and Clinton Wagman for Selkirk to put the visitors 29-26 ahead before Andrew Baillie’s try in the 82nd minute secured the vital victory for Hawick.

Hawick: A Weir, G Munro, K Davies, D Buckley, L Ferguson, L Armstrong, G Cottrell, S Muir, F Renwick, N Little, C Hamilton, D Redpath, G Graham, S Graham, B McNeil. Reps: M Carryer, R MacLeod, A Baillie, L Anderson & K Brunton.

Selkirk: S. Hamilton; C. Wagman, S. Hendrie, R. Nixon, J. Welsh; G. Craig, C. McEwan; L. Pettie, J. Bett, D. Anderson, A. Renwick, P. Forrest, D. Nichol, S. Nixon, J. Mackay. Replacements: N. Hall, B. Riddell, M. Gordon, F. Anderson, M. Davies.