Hawick 20

Ayr 13

HAWICK continue to defy logistics as few supporters believed that they could advance in the BT Cup in a match against opponents still with an eye on the Premiership.

But on a heavy Mansfield Park pitch on Saturday, Hawick, after a weakened side had lost to Watsonians seven days earlier, struck the chords which has seen the Greens turn their season around under new head coach George Graham.

Hawick, first winners of the national cup back in 1996, won the try count 2-1 and confirmed victory thanks to two massive penalties from the halfway line by Gary Munro.

The hosts respected the quality of their opponents, and many would have swapped a cup defeat for a league win at Ayr next weekend – but not the coach or the players who have a total belief in their own ability and quality.

“Ayr are a class side, but we showed what we could do. We took our two penalties well. I also asked the players for a big defensive effort and they gave me that,” Graham said.

“We must make sure that we continue in that vein. I did not think that we played particularly well in the first half, but the players reacted to what I asked them to do.”

Ayr coach Calum Forrester said that he was bitterly disappointed with the result.

“Hawick have been in great form at home this season and we expected a tough match,” he said. “We started off well and then we allowed Hawick to dictate.”

There were yellow cards for the captains, Bruce McNeil and Peter McCallum, at the same time, but it did not affect the game.

Ayr got off to the best of starts with two penalty goals from Scott Lyle before Hawick used their forwards’ strength to drive over the line for Dalton Redpath to get the touchdown, and Lee Armstrong converted for a 7-6 half-time lead.

The first of Munro’s penalties aided by the wind stretched the Hawick lead, but Lewis Anderson’s try and Lyle conversion put Ayr back in front.

Ross Coombe scored, Armstrong converted, and Munro’s second penalty with seven minutes left sealed a famous victory.

Hawick: A Weir; R Coombe, K Davies, D Buckley, G Munro; L Armstrong, G Cottrell; S Muir, F Renwick, M Landels, D Redpath, C Hamilton, R Gibson, B McNeil and S Graham. Replacements: M Carryer, N Little, D Suddon, S Fairbairn, K Brunton, L Ferguson.