Hawick v Melrose

22nd October 2016 - HAWICK 3, MELROSE 14

So, we reach the halfway of the BT Premiership and the Greens lose 3-14 to top-of-the-table Melrose at Mansfield Park. No doubt it is going to be a challenge in the second half of the season to climb up the table but not impossible after a courageous second half display that deserved something from the game.

The visitors started much the stronger and had the Hawick team on the back foot in the early exchanges and after nine minutes the home skipper, Bruce McNeil, received a yellow card for killing the ball.

A man down against Melrose is not what you want and the forward power of the visitors showed when flanker Neil Irvine Hess scored from close range to open the scoring, the try was converted by stand off Jason Baggott.

The Greens were next on the scoreboard when Ali Weir – who played admirably at scrum half for this game – landed a penalty goal after 20 minutes to make the score 7-3 for the visitors.

After 20 minute a serious injury to home lock, Michael Robertson, held the game up  for over 20 minutes while the medical teams from both sides catered for the lock who left the field on a stretcher with a serious looking neck injury. (It was confirmed after the game Michael had been taken by ambulance to the Borders General  Hospital and that he was allowed home which was good news for everyone).

Soon after the game resumed Melrose scored a good try after some fine lead up work and it was winger Ross McCann who scored and Baggott again converted to make it 3-14 for the visitors.

With no more scoring in the game, the second half was a real disappointment.

A heavy shower of rain at the start of the second period did make the ball difficult to handle, and there were numerous scuffles, 3 yellow cards – Grant Runciman and Russell Anderson from Melrose and Calum Mackintosh from Hawick – and the referee seemed to struggle to get a grip of the game which was a disappointment to both sets of supporters.

For the Greens, they had more opportunities in the second half but could not finish off.

With Stirling County next visitors to Mansfield next weekend for a game that is crucial for both sides to get much needed points.

Man of the Match for Hawick was Number 8, Keith Davies.