Hawick v Stirling County
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29th October 2016 - HAWICK 30, STIRLING COUNTY 43

In what both teams described as a “must win” game it was the visitors from Stirling, with a much more physical presence than the Greens, who won a nine try encounter at Mansfield Park.

In the first half, despite struggling at the set piece, the Greens led 15-11 with fine tries from home flanker Stuart Graham and full back Ali Weir, the latter also adding a conversion and a penalty goal.

For the visitors, hooker Reyner Kennedy, burrowed over for a try from short range with full back, Johnny Hope, landing two penalty goals.

At the start of the second half, Weir and Hope both added penalty goals before the turning point in the game when home stand off, Lee Armstrong,  and captain Bruce McNeil, were both given yellow cards and reduced the Greens to 13 players.

Stirling seemed to sense a win with the home team reduced to 13 men and scored three rapid tries – one each from props Adam Nicol and Dave Montgomery as well as scrum half, Matt Donaldson.

With the game entering the closing stages, it was Stirling’s turn to get a yellow card when centre Alex Black was sin binned.

The Greens at last raised their game and scores from scrum half Greg Cottrell and winger Wesley Hamilton brought the score to 36 30 with a home win looking a possibility

However, it was the visitors who scored their fifth try via the impressive second row Callum Hunter-Hill which Hope converted to make it 43 30 for County.

The Greens had a consolation bonus point for their four tries but there is a definite space appearing between the bottom two clubs (Hawick and Boroughmuir) and the rest.

A lot of work is required on the set piece by the lightweight Hawick team and no doubt the coaches will be focusing on that along with first up tackling before travelling to Watsonians next weekend.