Hawks lose to Stirling
By Hugh Barrow
Hawks slip to ninth in League
Tries Jamie Urquhart 17, Hope 26, Lyle 54, Lamb 70
Con Jamie Urquhart 26
Pen Jamie Urquhart 19, 62
Tries Ramsey, McGroarty 29, Steven 37
Con Horne 9, 37
A disappointing second half performance at Bridgehaugh saw Glasgow Hawks slip back into 9th place in the league when they didn’t manage to take a point from the match and Hawick beat Melrose at home.
Hawks’ pack had dominated the first half and had been rampant in the scrummage and the lineout. The first try came from a set-piece as cleanly won ball at a lineout allowed Paddy Boyer to deliver quick ball to the back-line. The ball was quick enough to give Paul Ramsey the slightest hint of space and he didn’t need a second invite to step inside, changing the point of attack. County were committed to covering the outside and the left wing put his foot on the gas going over from 30 metres out leaving Horne with a straightforward conversion. (0-7)
It was not going to be that straightforward, however, as County surged into Hawks 22. Their forward determination was matched by a stoic Hawks’ defence which kept frustrating a County side which was not set up to battle Hawks in the tight. After a couple of frustrating minutes, County finally sent the ball wide and it went to full-back Jamie Urquhart who was over for the 5 points. Unfortunately for County he had left himself a difficult conversion which he missed. (5-7)
Before the quarter way mark was passed, Jamie Urquhart had made amends with a penalty which gave County a narrow advantage. (8-7)
Hawks then had a strong period when the pack were dominating County. In 24 minutes a 5 metre scrum saw Hawks push over ad County clearly collapsed it to prevent the score, but the referee simply set another. Eventually, after another couple of set scrums, County could breathe a sigh of relief when they cleared after a penalty.
A major defensive lapse by Hawks allowed Jonathon Hope, who was, on as a blood replacement make a break for a solo try under the posts as Jamie Urquhart put over the conversion Hawks’ were more than a score behind for the first time in a match which they had been dominant in every regard. (15-7)
Hawks finally had a break after another tremendous line-break and solo run from outside centre, Brendan McGroarty, who scored close to the posts just before the half hour. When George Horne then converted it was back to the narrowest of leads for County. (15-14)
That was McGroarty’s third try in his two outings in Hawks’ colours.
The clock was counting down towards half time and Hawks again were pressurising County in the home 22. The ball was being worked though the phases when Horne recycled to the right. Tom Steven burst onto it at pace and was over right in the corner to give Hawks a 4 point lead as Horne missed a very difficult conversion. (15-19)
Even in these last few minutes Hawks were rampant and ended the half deep in County’s 22.
For Hawks’ the second half was a much poorer affair. County Stand-off, Fraser Lyle, made a mockery of Hawks previous defensive efforts after 4 minutes when he finished off a break by Alex Black, who had made a break from the half way line dodging the disappointing Hawks’ cover. In close support Lyle took the ball in the 22 and was over for a straightforward score. As it went unconverted County’s 1 point lead seemed still as fragile now as it had done earlier (20-19)
But then Hawks suffered another blow, they were pressing County in the home 22 as the hosts were struggling to get out of defence, when hooker, Jack MacFarlane, made a tackle which the referee and most who witnessed it thought was dangerous. Certainly, Mr Wells did not hesitate as he pulled out a red card and MacFarlane was to play no further part in the match.
Hawks face the final quarter a man short and Jamie Urquhart was to add to the pain with a penalty in 62 minutes which took County out of penalty range (23-19)
Whilst Hawks attempted to play in their opponents faces, it was a struggle to bring balance to the pack although County were unable to put the 7 man pack under much pressure. The game struggled on and Hawks seemed to tire as their tackle count mounted. When County winger, Matt Lamb went over for the home side’s fourth try with ten minutes to go the 9 point gap was just too much of a gulf for Hawks to cross. County had turned the match on it’s head. (28-19)
There were more woes in the closing minutes as Hawks went down to 13 men when Andy Kirkland was yellow carded and the elusive possibility of a 4th try to secure 2 bonus points evaporated completely.
As the side talked through events on the field word arrived that Hawick had enjoyed a derby victory against Melrose and Hawks had dropped back to 9th.