Hawick played hosts on a fine autumn afternoon to visitors Currie for what was usually a very tight, hard fought fixture, and so it proved again as the home team scraped home in extra time in dramatic fashion.
Both clubs have had a difficult start to their season and points from this fixture were very important to both. The visitors had the better of the early exchanges as they steadily built pressure on the Greens and it was only good defence and some handling errors that kept the score at nil-nil until the 30 minute mark when after a penalty and line-out, the Currie no 14 took the ball at speed and ran through the last tackle for a score near the posts. No. 10 added the points. This was followed shortly afterwards by a second try when good support up the middle put No. 12, who caused Hawick problems all afternoon, through for a converted try at the posts. With half-time fast approaching Currie seemed to lose concentration, as Hawick forced their way into the visitors red zone, and after several phases, McNeil got his hands on the ball and burst through for a try converted by Weir for a score of 7-14 at the interval.
The second session began well for Hawick who, applying pressure in their opponents half, gave Weir the chance to close the gap from a well-struck penalty. The pressure continued to tell as a couple of ruck infringements close to the line saw Currie No 7 yellow carded after 10 mins and, with the Greens forwards taking full advantage, Cosgrove finished off a powerful drive with a try close to the posts. Again Weir added the extras and Hawick were 17-14 in front.
Just a couple of minutes later, Weir put Hawick further ahead with a second penalty goal. However, Currie found another gear and, returning to their forward strength, moved upfield and forced an opening for their winger 11 to go over from the corner, with a good conversation by No. 10 to put them back in the lead 20-21.
With just 10 mins remaining the lead changed hands again when Hawick drove up the left touchline with a series of mauls, and just as it looked as it the move was breaking down, winger Hamilton managed to get to a loose ball and dived over for the third try. Ali Weir completed a faultless kicking display by slotting the ball between the posts for a 27-21 lead.
The final few minutes saw the visitors throw everything at the Greens defence and looked like scoring several times until, inevitably they forced over in the right corner for a bonus point fourth try, deep in extra time. The Hawick crowd held their breath as the kicker pushed the conversion attempt wide, but with the referee signalling the end of the match, the touch-judge draw his attention to some Hawick players shouting before the kick, which was ordered to be retaken. The tension in Mansfield Park was palpable as, in complete silence this time, the Currie kicker was again unable to add the winning points and the Greens support raised the roof for the 27-26 victory.
Both teams deserve credit for what was an exciting, close and committed game bringing two valuable points to Currie and four to the Greens. This season has a lot yet to come!