EDINBURGH Accies captain Greg Campbell cut a relieved figure at the end of his first competitive game in charge on Saturday, his side just edging out RBS Premiership new boys Glasgow Hawks at Raeburn Place.
In a poor first half that never really got going, Accies took the upper hand and led 13-3 by the interval. Hawks came back though, and when their skipper Ross Miller, one of the best performers on the day, scored a converted try with five minutes to go they were 20-16 up.
That was not the end of the drama though, home centre Ruairidh Bonner diving over for the winning try late on before Glasgow Hawks replacement Jack Steele was short with a penalty attempt with the last kick of the afternoon.
Second-row Campbell said: “We made it hard for ourselves, but it is good to get a win on the opening day. All credit to both sets of players, they kept going when perhaps things weren’t coming off and the second half must have been exciting for people to watch. I was pleased that the guys didn’t panic when we went behind late on although we know we have a lot of things to work on at training this week.”
The bright moment of the first half was when Scotland under-20 winger Jamie Farndale cleverly drifted off his wing and surprised the Hawks defence to dart through for a score.
At that point it was 7-0, with visiting centre Ally Maclay in the sin-bin, and when it went to 10-0 after 21 minutes you feared the worst for Hawks. Yet, turning round at 13-3, Hawks restarted well and clawed back three points with a penalty by Adamson. Then winger Tom Steven ran in for a converted try from 40 metres out after a fumble by the Accies centres to make it 13-13 in the 47th minute, Adamson knocking over the match-levelling extra points.
The match then built up to the exciting finale and, for the hosts, scrum-half Alex Black impressed along with back-row Neil Aitken while for the visitors Miller and replacement hooker Finlay Gillies put in a power of work. Miller touched down and Adamson converted inside the last five minutes. Bonner then completed a fine move to earn a single-point lead that Steele could not overhaul with his 50-metre injury-time penalty.