Hawks slump to unhappy hat-trick
By Bob Coats
Alex Gordon writes
Try: MacFarlane 80.
Con: Horne 80
Tries: Lockington 53, Mau 68
Con: Mill 53, 68
Pen: Mill 28
Hawks slumped to a third defeat on their return to Old Anniesland against defending Premier ship champions Melrose. In a tight match which saw the home side pick up a number of significant injuries Glasgow never managed to catch up with the visitors after they conceded the lead just before half an hour.
The packs dominated the early exchanges, Melrose having the advantage territorially for most of the opening quarter. Yet try as the Champions might they struggled to cross the gain line and whilst they had their hosts on the back foot they made no impact on the score-line.
Hawks suffered a double injury blow when David Milne went off in 18 minutes with Neil Herron replacing him. Such was the attritional nature of the game that within a minute Herron himself had to be replaced.
Melrose pulled ahead in 28 minutes with a penalty from Richard Mill following a scrum. (0-3)
Neither side could get into a rhythm and hawks struggled to get any platform from the scrum as it was “crabbing” at every home put, unfortunately referee David Changleng didn’t view it the same way. The game staggered towards the interval and both sides seemed to be more worried about losing than winning.
The second half brought more of the same as the sides continued to smother each other with the defensive lines holding strong. At one stage in the opening ten minutes of the second period Hawks recycled the ball 15 times. Eventually, Melrose turned it over and when they got into the Hawks half they recycled a further 13 times.
It took an error to break eventually open the try scoring in 53 minutes.. Falling another failed attempt to break the gain line Melrose Centre, Tito Mou, kicked a ball, more out of despair than hope, over the hawks back-line. The Hawks cover seemed to have gathered the ball but it bobbled free with just enough momentum to cross the line. Rose wing Austin Lockington was alert to the opportunity as he hurdled over the prone defender to touch the ball down. With Mill converting from close to the stand-side touch-line the match was blown wide open. (0-10)
This score seemed to throw Hawks completely out of kilter, the home error count rose as the nerves seemed to jangle. Melrose were again putting the phases in place before Tito Mou went wide rushing through Paddy Boyer who bravely tried to halt the Melrose centre. This second try was a hammer blow and when Hill added the extras with 12 minutes there was no way back for the home side. (0-17)
Hawks luck seemed out in time added when Finn Gillies was deemed to be foot in touch before touching down.
Melrose scrum-half Tom Wilson committed a “professional” foul in the closing minutes getting a Yellow Card. With a man advantage Hawks finally get on the score-sheet when Andy Davidson charged down a clearance which Jack McFarlane chased down and went over for the score, his second try in two weeks. With George Horne converting the try the Match finished 7-17.