Hawick under 18s 43
Jed Thistle 7
THREE Langholm players were on the team which won the Border Semi Junior Cup last Saturday.
In an outstanding clinical performance by an injury-hit squad last Tuesday the team disposed of a very good Melrose Wasps side in the semi-final.
The Langholm lads were Bailey Donaldson (captain), Murray Forbes and Ciaran Jackson.
For what would be the last time in a 15-a-side game for this crop of youngsters, Bailey led his team out for this hotly-anticipated encounter.
Jed showed their intent straight from the whistle, pressing the Hawick ball carriers and tackling strongly. Their reward was the first try after a slick breakdown on the stand-side from their number 10.
Hawick steadied the ship and gradually came back into the game, with Donaldson putting in some astute kicks, turning the Jed pack and gaining good field position from which to attack the line.
The first score came from Ryan Toogood, the dynamic prop forward, followed by a second from Hawick scrum half Ben Scott with a copybook, quickly-taken tap penalty.
Donaldson converted both to close the first half with a slender 14-7 lead.
As the second half kicked off, there was all to play for and the Hawick crowd were delighted to see the return from injury of vice-captain Jamie Grant and playmaker Mully Bannerman.
With these two to the fore, the Hawick lads immediately set siege to the Jed line.
Grant led by example, calling the defence to arms, and Donaldson broke the Jed hearts every time he put boot to ball. The young Greens took a stranglehold on the game.
Further tries came from Billy McNeil after a tremendous forward drive.
Donaldson and Bannerman grabbed one each, with the scoring rounded off by the ever-present Ryan Toogood who scored another two tries to complete his hat-trick. Donaldson converted two to make the final score 43-7.
This victory completes a thoroughly-deserved league and cup double for Hawick U18s, matching the feat achieved by last year’s squad.
It was a truly superb testament to the work the players and coaches have put in. Donaldson has been outstanding and an excellent captain, leading from the front, and, together with Grant, whose enthusiasm and support for the younger team members has been tremendous, has ensured every member has felt able to express themselves on the pitch and contribute to the team’s success.