Hawick 45


Atholl Innes

at Mansfield Park

HAWICK came close to scoring 50 points for the second week in a row, but were denied by a battling GHA side.

The visiting team arrived late after its coach had been delayed by an accident and the kick-off was delayed until 3.15.

And things did not go Hawick’s way either after prop and captain, Shawn Muir, was injured in the warm-up and withdrew from the game amid fears that he could be out of action until at least Christmas.

“We will just have to wait and see,” said head coach George Graham at the end of the match.

“He will be a big miss.”

In the end, Hawick won comfortably with seven tries although they had to contend with an amazing second-half GHA fightback into the wind.

But it was a powerful first-half performance that laid the foundation for Hawick’s second league win of the season and was especially satisfying after Muir’s injury.

Graham was disappointed that Hawick had not pushed on after leading 33-0 at the interval, but was pleased with the result.

He added: “The first half was really good, but in the second half, they thought it was going to happen. We were disappointed that we let in a score, but generally we were happy with the defence.

“However, we need 80-minute performances and not 40 minutes.”

With the kick-off delayed for 15 minutes, Hawick immediately raced into a 17-0 lead with tries from Billy McNeil, one of three members of the same family in the side, Ronan McKean and Matty Carryer, with Ali Weir adding two conversions.

The strength of the home pack proved crucial as Craig Bachurzewski and Carryer added tries, Weir converting both, to put Hawick in total control.

GHA came out to play with more aggression in the second half and Jamie McCarthy raced in for a score, converted by Adam Scott, as Hawick were forced on the back foot.

But in a late charge, Andrew Mitchell and Bachurzewski touched down again to complete the side’s seven tries and Weir added his fifth conversion.

Hawick: A. Weir; R. McKean, A. Mitchell, M. Bannerman, L. Gordon-Wooley; B. Donaldson, G. Welsh; R. Toogood, M. Carryer, C. Bachurzewski, D. Suddon, K. McNeil, S. Graham. Bruce McNeil, Billy McNeil. Replacements: C. Renwick, D. Johnstone, S. Fairbairn, J. Linton, K. Brunton.