Hodge scores a perfect eleven to put Watsonians in the final

Watsonians 57 Dundee High 7
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The Independent Online
Duncan Hodge set an individual club scoring record of 32 points as Watsonians dispatched Dundee High at Meggetland yesterday to claim a place in the first ever Tennents Scottish Cup Final against Hawick on 11 May.

In yesterday's other semi-final Hawick upset the odds by defeating the favourites Melrose 28-15 at Galashiels. The final is at Murrayfield on 11 May and the Watsonians coach, Peter Gallagher, believes his side may already have a psychological edge. "We were the only team to defeat Hawick home and away in the league this season but I've been around too long to take anything for granted where Hawick are concerned," Gallagher said.

A 50-point winning margin was a bit misleading, but when you have a goal- kicker landing everything in sight the scoreboard moves along very quickly.

In fact, Hodge had a 100 per cent record with five penalties and six conversions as Watsonians pulled clear from 16-0 at half-time. In the space of 10 minutes midway through the second half Watsonians piled on 29 points but there was much gnashing of teeth when Stuart Pearson crossed at 50-0 after 70 minutes to register the first try against them in five Cup ties this season.

Moments later, the Scotland skipper Rob Wainwright retired as a precaution after straining a calf muscle.

The Hawick v Melrose encounter was a needle affair given that Melrose have recently been rattling a few spars by offering contracts to players at other clubs in the tight-knit border community. Hawick had no trouble getting themselves motivated.

The first winners of the national league 23 years ago, the fact Hawick are in with a chance of another first in the Cup was largely down to their stand-off, Scott Welsh, who kicked six penalties, a drop goal and the conversion of a try by Colin Turnbull.

Watsonians: Tries Garry, Hodge, Burnett, Hastings, Hannah, Sinclair; Conversions Hodge 6; Penalties Hodge 5. Dundee High: Try Pearson; Conversion Rouse.

Watsonians: F Henderson (capt); N Burnett, S Hastings, A Garry, J Kerr; D Hodge, J Weston; T Smith, G McKelvie, J Waddell, S Grimes, C Mather, G Hannah, R Wainwright (G McRaild, 72), I Sinclair.

Dundee High: S Pearson; D Mason, M Lamont, D Hamilton (capt), D Gray; P Rouse, G Sandford; S Lithgow, G Scott, N Robertson, S Campbell, J Petrie, G Hayter, T McWhirter, D Milne.

Referee: I Ramage (Berwick).