Mercer’s delight as Glasgow Hawks over­come ad­verse weather and Stir­ling County to strengthen top-four cre­den­tials

The Herald - Sport - - RUGBY UNION -

GLASGOW HAWKS chief coach Gary Mercer be­lieves his side’s home-turf vic­tory on Satur­day was as much a tri­umph over the hor­ren­dous weather as it was against a typ­i­cally stub­born Stir­ling County out­fit.

Mercer couldn’t dis­guise his relief fol­low­ing the tense but de­served 10-3 suc­cess, which kept alive the hosts’ hopes of squeez­ing into the top-four reck­on­ing.

Mercer said: “We played the dif­fi­cult con­di­tions re­ally well, par­tic­u­larly in de­fence where we were out­stand­ing.

“I have to also give great credit to County, who stuck to their task and they made us dig deeper and deeper to make sure we got the out­come we needed.”

Jack Macfar­lane snapped up the only try of a tight con­test mid­way through the first half, re­act­ing quickly fol­low­ing the charge­down of a Shaun Tre­week clear­ance.

Pierre Mounal banged over the con­ver­sion along with a penalty, while Jonny Hope kicked Stir­ling’s con­so­la­tion goal.

Ayr kick­started their quest to be top seeds in the play-off as they snuffed out the stuffy chal­lenge of Gala 20-13 at Mill­brae.

The seasiders’ tries were claimed by Had­don McPher­son just be­fore the break and skip­per Ross Curle ten min­utes from time.

Fra­zier Climo was in pin­point form with the boot, slot­ting two penal­ties and both con­ver­sions.

For the sec­ond week on the trot, Bor­ough­muir launched a stir­ring fight­back — but on this oc­ca­sion they did enough to snatch the 19-18 win.

Trail­ing 18-0 at Megget­land, the hosts looked out for the count, how­ever, they clicked into gear when it mat­tered.

Jor­dan Ed­munds pro­vided the im­pe­tus be­fore sub­sti­tute Karl Furey crashed over for the clincher in stop­page time, booted by Dave Reekie.

Max Lear­month emerged as the hero for He­riot’s as they pre­vailed 11-0 against Haw­ick in the Mans­field Park mud to bol­ster their quest to hold on to the ti­tle.

Lear­month was in the right place at the right time ten min­utes be­fore the in­ter­val to fin­ish in style.

Gra­ham Wil­son was also in­stru­men­tal in the suc­cess, land­ing two penal­ties which staved off a Greens fight­back.

Scotland winger Rory Hughes pow­ered in for two touch­downs to pro­pel Currie to a 46-29 vic­tory over Selkirk at Philliphaugh.

Stand off James Sem­ple also notched a brace late in the game to un­der­line the sharp­ness of the Mal­leny Park side.

He ended up with a tally of 21 points, thanks to his four con­ver­sions and a penalty.

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