Berwick 64-6 Hawick Linden

Action from Berwick v Hawick Linden. Pictures by Kimberley Powell
Action from Berwick v Hawick Linden. Pictures by Kimberley Powell

Berwick continued their push at the top of BT East League Division 1 as they picked up maximumpoints when they entertained Hawick Linden at Scremerston on Saturday.

Victory keeps them in third place behind leaders Dalkeith and North Berwick but with a game in hand.

The home side gave young scrum half Adam Hardie his first start at scrum half in place of James Patterson who had surgery on his shoulder injury earlier in the week and looks likely to be out all season.

Berwick kicked off down the slope in perfect conditions but it was the visitors who started the brighter, controlling possession and sending g their big forwards into the Berwick midfield.

Although they never looked like breaching the Berwick defence they were awarded an early penalty when Berwick were penalised for entering a ruck from the side.

The Hawick fly half landed the penalty shot at goal and soon doubled the advantage when Berwick again got on the wrong side of the referee Gary King’s whistle at the breakdown,

Six points down, Berwick were stung into life and two quick-fire tries changed the game. First left wing Gareth Hill picked up a kick through which ricocheted into his hands and outpaced the Hawick cover to score in the corner and then a mazy cross field run from Jamie Pick led to Dan Law cutting the angle to touch down. Shane Armstrong converted both and from then on it was the home side in the ascendancy.

Pick had a try chalked off for a forward pass but it only delayed the inevitable when Owens was driven over from a line-out. Armstrong again added the conversion and Berwick soon notched up the four try bonus point when the ball was moved along the back-line to Pick who scorched up the touchline before cutting back inside to score a brilliant individual try under the posts. Armstrong again added the extra two points.

The fifth try came when prop Tom Jackson burst into the visitor’s midfield and when he was eventually stopped offloaded to Gareth Hill who again showed his pace to outstrip the defence.

Armstrong converted and also added the two points when fly half Jack Webster went over to make the half time score 42-6.

Coach Colin Young rang the changes at half time when he brought on all the bench players. The home side looked to have scored when Webster’s chip on their 22 was gathered by Dan Law who in turn found Hill but the referee deemed the final pass to be forward.

Linden then had a period on time in the Berwick 22 but when Owens charged from a line out five yards from his own line the ball was spun along the backs, Law broke the defensive line and found Hill again who galloped over for his personal hat-trick. Armstrong missed the conversion but was rewarded soon after when we went over from the half way line.

Before the end Tommy McCallt ran on to a Pick popped pass from a ruck under the visitors posts to score a try which Armstrong converted before captain Gareth Black touched down in the final minute to make the final score 64-6.

After the slow start Berwick’s total domination was founded on a solid scum and secure line-out .

This supply of quality possession allowed Berwick to play the quick, open and entertaining brand of rugby they aspire to with both forwards and backs looking comfortable with ball in hand.

This Saturday Berwick have another home league match at Scremerston with Hawick Harlequins the visitors this time.