SELKIRK Junior FC under-nines made the long journey to Dumfries on Sunday to the annual Heston Rovers seven-a-side Festival Tournament for the first time.
The great weather, which was not forecast, brought a large crowd out to support the 170 youngsters who turned out from all over Scotland.
Having been drawn against teams from Dumfries, Greenock, Kennoway and Glasgow, the 10 Selkirk youngsters who were the sole Borders representatives faced a truly testing afternoon. In difficult and trying weather conditions, the dry and muggy air, as well as playing on a larger pitch than the boys were used to, could have made for a long session.
Playing mostly against far bigger opposition, the players stuck to their task and played with real commitment and high intensity at all times. With determined running in attack and defence, each player gave a really good creditable account of themselves against others who in some cases train and play three teams a week with professional outfits.
The highlight was a resounding victory over Lochaber Thistle, a real team performance which resulted in a result the boys can take real positives from. Having got off to a flying start, straight from the kick-off, early pressure resulted in the ball being put into the back of the Thistle goal. From here the team never looked back, and with the hard-working midfield tirelessly winning every ball, they were too hot for Lochaber to handle. This, along with the excellent control and pace of the forwards, saw Finlay Wheelans completing his hat-trick and Selkirk taking a 3-0 lead at half-time.
Lochaber tried hard to get into the game in the second period, but on the odd occasion they escaped their own half, the Selkirk defence and keeper easily dealt with any threat so the Selkirk midfield to continued to dominate the game. Towards the end of the second half, Lochaber began to push everyone forward in a vain attempt to salvage something from the game, leaving their defence exposed. Selkirk took advantage and after a counter-attack break, Nathan Lambert popped up from the resulting corner to give the young Souters an unassailable 4-0 lead.
Overall, this was a near-perfect display from the Selkirk team who gave a very spirited performance and who can now look forward to a much-deserved summer break. The team would like to say a big thank you to friends, family and vocal supporters who made the lengthy journey to support them.
Selkirk Under-nines: Andrew Cochrane, Jamie Gordon, Fraser Roberston, Sean Martin, Alex Handyside, Dylan Ward, Archie Maceira, Finlay Wheelans, Liam Skeldon, Nathan Lambert.