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Selkirk 13 Glasgow Hawks 27

Young Hawks Show Their Maturity

If you had suggested to the Hawks coaching team at the start of the season that they would have to play a match without three of their more senior forward their may have been some concern. This is what happened on Saturday when Rory McKay was unavailable, Grant Strang was injured and Ross Miller had to leave the field just after half time with an eye injury. As it turned out these fears were unfounded as the replacements Stephen Leckie, Peter Redmayne and Andy Kirkland played like men possessed in this high octane and highly entertaining game of Club rugby.

On a perfect autumn day, with bright sunshine, little or no wind and on the picturesque Philiphaugh ground, a sizeable crowd, despite the counter attraction of Melrose v Ayr a few miles up the road, witnessed a game of real intensity that ebbed and flowed for a full 80 minutes. In the end Hawks were the better side and ran out winners by four tries to one to keep their unbeaten league record intact.

Hawks did not keep the scorer waiting long before putting the first score on the board. Straight from the kick off they made it clear that they were going to attack at every opportunity. In the 2nd minute Selkirk were forced to carry over and concede a five metre scrum. Ross Miller at No 8 picked up and in the general melee that followed scrum half Haddon McPherson dived over for a try converted by Mike Adamson. 0-7

Hawks could not have got off to a better start.

What was obvious in the first quarter was the confidence that this new Hawks side had gained from their earlier wins. The centre pairing of Andy Fleming and Tom Preece broke the gain line every time they received the ball and the Selkirk defence was being stretched to the limit but still holding tight.

In the 14th minute Hawks added to their score when Mike Adamson knocked over a penalty from 35 metres. 0-10.

6 minutes later Selkirk scored in their first attack of the game by kicking a penalty for offside in front of the posts 3-10. This seemed to give them more confidence and they put Hawks under pressure especially with their very efficient rolling mauls. Tony Herron was close to adding another try but after a break and long run through the centre of the field was hauled down just short of the line and then penalised for holding on.

In the 34th minute tight head prop John Lohar was injured and replaced by 18 year old Chris Barnes.

Half time Selkirk 3 Hawks 10

On reflection Hawks should have been further ahead at this stage but were penalised too often and this kept Selkirk in the game. Three times in the half the final pass in scoring situations was ruled as being forward otherwise the scoreline would have been more comfortable.

Selkirk started the second half with renewed vigour setting the standard for the remainder of the match. The intensity of the forward battle stepped up and the refereeing team needed to be vigilant as boiling point was being reached. However it only added to the excitement of this enthralling game.

4 minutes after the restart Michael McVie kicked his second penalty and Selkirk were right back in the game at 6-10. This however was to be their last score until Hawks had virtually won the game.

In the 57th minute Hawks were camped on the Selkirk line when Calum Kerr appeared from nowhere with ball in hand to run over the line unopposed. Mike Adamson converted and Hawks lead 6-17

Hawks were now firmly on top and 10 minutes later they won a lineout on the left and a great handling move spread the ball wide before Tony Herron dived over in the opposite corner. 6-22

In the final 15 minutes the game became a bit fractious. Hawks prop Stephen Findlay and Selkirks prop Clement Lacour were yellow carded for a bit of handbags although neither was the perpetrator of the incident. They were followed into the bin two minute later by Hawks Andy Kirkland for killing the ball. With only 13 men Hawks defence were really stretched for the first time in the game and this allowed Selkirk replacement Andy Banks a free run to the line for a try converted by Michael McVie.

13-22.

Although the game was deep into stoppage time Selkirk still had high hopes of grabbing the losing bonus point but it was not to be. They lost possession of the ball just outside their own 22 to ace poacher George Ooman, who quickly, had the backs moving and Tom Preece simply skated over to secure the all important four try bonus point and a very satisfactory victory over their nearest rivals to stay top of the RBS National League with 5 wins from 5 games played.

Next Saturday Hawks are at home to Jedforest kick off 3pm. If you have not seen a Club game this season come on down. Not Just Hawks but at all other games in the Premier and National Leagues the quality of the entertainment on offer is excellent. You only have to look at the scorelines in the 10 games played on Saturday to see the number of tries being scored. This is not the turgid scrum, ruck, maul game of professional rugby it is rugby as it should be played running. handling, attacking, defending and more over fun for those playing and watching. If only our national press would realise this and give it the publicity that it deserves.

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