Rugby: Stew-Mel up for promotion fight with draw at Hawick

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Stewart’s-MELVILLE launched their bid to secure on of the two remaining spots in next year’s abbreviated top flight with a battling 10-10 draw at Hawick in RBS Premier B.

The Inverleith men were rewarded for topping Premiership Division Two with a difficult run of fixtures but they showed they are ready for the challenge with a performance brimming with character, particularly during the second period when they came under extreme pressure from the Borderers.

Having suffered defeats in each of their RBS Cup ties - their only competitive outings since the league went into hibernation - the result represented an impressive start to the second half of the campaign for Bruce Macnaughton’s men  

The Capital side led 7-5 at the break with their points coming courtesy of a try from Liam Steele - now restored to full fitness after an injury - which was converted by Mike Hanning. Although the hosts applied relentless pressure in the second period, Hanning slotted a penalty to extend the lead to five points.

A late try for the host squared matters and presented Hawick stand off Rory Hutton with an opportunity to snatch the victory. However, his conversion attempt rattled back off the post and StewMel survived to take a share of the spoils.

Edinburgh Accies were left kicking their heels after their trip to face Jeforest was postponed because of a frozen pitch.

Meanwhile, in Division Three, Lasswade were looking to bounce back from a cup drubbing the previous week when they travelled to face Ardrossan Accies. However, there was no respite for the beleaguered Hawthornden men as they returned from Ayrshire nursing another hefty loss after succumbing 41-0. Dave Cockburn’s men have no slipped to sixth place in the table.

Elsewhere, there was also further disappointment for Haddington who were on the road to face Cartha Queens Park but narrowly missed out on a bonus point after going down 24-16. Two penalties by Neil Watt kept the east Lothian outfit in touch at the break, which they reached 10-6 in arrears. But, despite a try from Kyle Adam, converted by Ross King, and another three pointer courtesy of Watt, the Scarlets were left empty handed and remain second from bottom in the table.