Blues turn the corner with second half fightback

Matt Harvey, Kirkcaldy vs Hawick YM, 27th October 2012. Photo: Michael Booth
Matt Harvey, Kirkcaldy vs Hawick YM, 27th October 2012. Photo: Michael Booth
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Winners of 50 of their previous 53 league matches, Hawick YM came to Kirkcaldy as realistic promotion challengers.

With a 13-3 interval lead and having coped with early Kirkcaldy attacks, the Borderers must have been confident that they would take the points.

By the end they were holding on to the draw as the Blues staged a stirring second half comeback, suggesting that better results may just be around the corner.

If Quintan Sanft’s side felt aggrieved they hadn’t won the game they were equally unhappy with the performance of Gala referee Colin Reavely.

Both sides were similarly mystified with some of his decisions and players’ frustrations helped to produce reversed penalties, yellow cards and ten metre penalty advances.

The Blues had an encouraging start without being able to make a breach in a competent defence.

They were also boosted by the sin binning of YM hooker Mark Graham.

After a slow start Hawick crept into the game, but it was a bonus for them when Kirkcaldy got themselves into a tangle, going offside, allowing winger Neil McCombe to open the scoring in the 18th minute.

Kirkcaldy indiscretion played its part in the opening try four minutes later. Colin Harvey was trapped with the ball in his own half. Reavely immediately blew up, penalising and binning him for preventing release. The penalty was planted in the corner.

From a dynamic line out maul prop Garry Douglas bustled over the line for the score, converted by McCombe for a 10-0 lead.

Having previously ignored the YM backs in offside defensive positions, he eventually blew up and Craig Letham opened the Kirkcaldy account.

This score was cancelled out within five minutes after a mild scuffle in front of the posts saw a YM penalty reversed and McCombe made it 13-3.

The second half began spectacularly for Kirkcaldy when Mark Wallace took the kick-off ball, dummied and broke to feed an unmarked Gavin Welsh outside and the young winger showed his pace to go 50 metres for the try converted by Letham.

A never ending stream of penalties followed, first against Kirkcaldy, and then against YM.

From one of the latter Letham tied the scores.

The Blues held the upper hand in the closing stages but just failed to get the score.

Kirkcaldy: J Wilson, G Welsh, C Harvey, M Wallace, C Mann, C Letham, G McKenzie, M Thomson, G Wallace, S Orr, G Brooksbank, L Neilson, D Turner, M Harvey. Replacements: G Mangalo, R Girdler D Guthrie, Q Sanft.

Hawick YM: G Kellington, N McCombe, J Hendrie, R Armstrong, M Graham, D McCracken, B Campbell, B Lilly, R Graham, G Douglas, B Thomson, S Mabon, C Robson, S Hill, R Hogg. Replacements: A Turnbull, A Williamson, G Wyllie, R McLeod

Referee: C Reavely (Gala).