Hawick 24

Heriot’s 23

Atholl Innes at Mansfield Park

UNPREDICTABLE Hawick produced the most unpredictable of results on Saturday to lift hopes of staying in the Premiership next season.

After a 70-7 drubbing earlier in the season at Goldenacre, few gave the Greens much a chance of repairing the damage at Mansfield Park.

But the new belief under coach George Graham has stimulated a side which was going nowhere - although they are not out of the woods yet.

The head coach said: “We had to work hard and we were disappointing in the second half.

“But the boys worked hard and got the result.”

It was an amazing game in many aspects.

Hawick led 17-3 at the interval, and with Michael Maltman red carded, believed to be for an alleged punch, the omens looked good for the home side.

But Heriot’s stepped up their game, even with 14 men including ex-Gala winger Craig Robertson and former Selkirk player Callum Marshall in the side, and Hawick aspirations looked doomed.

That is until they got clear of their own ’22, and after a succession of scrums close to the Heriot’s line, and which could have led to a penalty try, Darcy Graham pounced for the crucial score in the 83rd minute.

Lee Armstrong’s conversion sent the home players and supporters into raptures of joy.

The tempo of a bruising contest was set in the second minute when Iain Wilson was yellow-carded for a challenge on Gary Munro, and Hawick seized the initiative with tries from Shawn Muir, Munro and Bruce McNeil before the break – Armstrong converting one and Ross Jones replying for Heriot’s.

The second half was dominated by Heriot’s, with Martin Hughes and Rory Carmichael scoring tries, and Stuart Edwards converting both and a penalty to add to a Jones' penalty.

Hawick lost Graham and Keith Davies to the sin-bin, but the Greens rallied as never before in the second half for the winning try and conversion – and the bonus point.

Suddenly, life looks so much brighter at Mansfield Park.

Hawick: D. Graham; R. Combe, K. Davies, D. Buckley, G. Munro; L. Armstrong, G. Cottrell; S. Muir, M. Carryer, N. Little, D. Redpath, C. Hamilton, G. Graham, S. Graham, B. McNeil. Replacements: F. Renwick, M. Landels, A. Baillie, A. Weir, C. McLelland.