Hawick 27 - 21 Gala: Greens hold on for victory

Hawick's Bruce McNeil scored the winning try. Picture: Graham Stuart
Hawick's Bruce McNeil scored the winning try. Picture: Graham Stuart
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Hawick lifted the opening Booker Border League clash in a nail-biting encounter yesterday at Mansfield Park with captain Bruce McNeil, pictured, leading the way with the winning try in the second half.

Hawick made full use of the strong wind to turn round 22-7 ahead, three of the scores coming in the opening 15 minutes.

New signing Dom Buckley burst through the Gala defence to touch down and Ali Weir converted.

The visiting defence was under more pressure as Hawick turned on the style and Lewis Ferguson went
 free to score in the left-hand 
corner.

Weir missed the conversion, but kicked a penalty to put Hawick 15-0 ahead.

Gala at last found their footing and Alan Emond made the break to send Scott Wilkinson over and Gregor Hunter converted.

The celebrations were short-lived, however, as former Gala winger Ross Combe darted through a struggling visitors’ defence to score and Weir converted.

Gala battled to cash in on the wind in the second half. But they dropped the ball over the line and then Speirs was taken into touch.

They were not to be denied however, and Rex Jeffrey scored and Hunter converted.

It was game on as Gala dominated, Hunter closing the gap to one point with a try and conversion.

Gala continued to press, but Hawick remained defiant for 
McNeil to score from a drive by the pack, and the Mansfield Park side then held on as the Maroons fought to rescue the game in the final minutes.