Yellow cards played a big part in the outcome, both teams being reduced to 13 men at stages, Hawks in the first half, Accies in the second. The packs were a major factor too with Hawks dominant at the scrum.
The two factors combined and probably tipped the balance when the form book for this inter-city bottom-of-the-table clash didn’t point to a clear favourite.
The two teams kept it tight from the kick-off but Accies had the early edge on a rain-soaked pitch and Hawks defence had all the work to do before the home side opened the scoring, a simple penalty inside the 22 kicked by stand-off Vincent Hart on 13 mintues.
Straight from the restart Hawks went ahead, flanker Matt Smith scoring an unconverted try as he followed a maul over the line for the touchdown.
The game was delicately balanced and mostly played in midfield but with Hawks prop Mark New sin binned for a late tackle Hart kicked his second penalty to regain the lead.
Hawks were reduced to 13 men when hooker Paul Cairncross was yellow carded and Accies took full advantage with a forward surge and try by scrum-half Robbie Davis. Hart converted to make it an eight-point lead at half-time.
Accies ran in another try while Hawks were depleted, centre George Spencer making the break and his pass putting winger Robbie Chalmers in at the corner. The conversion attempt was wide.
Hawks, restored to full strength, battered away at the home defence but Accies’ tackling was resolute. At the scrum they had better luck with Accies teenage tighthead Cole Imrie sent to the bin for not keeping his side up. Eventually, the referee awarded a penalty try and binned the other prop James Pearse.
Although Accies only had 13 men they penned Hawks inside their own 22, but Hawks did break out and put pressure on Accies who were back to a full complement but couldn’t stop Smith getting his second try after yet another maul. Stand-off Ross Thompson’s conversion attempt sailed wide to make it a single-point game with ten minutes to go.
All the momentum was with Hawks and a penalty for hands in the ruck gave them their chance with Thompson chipping it over.