Last August, on the eve of new season, I doubt if anyone connected with Selkirk RFC would have thought that their league fixture in the Granite City would hold such importance.
However after an impressive winning run, interrupted only by defeats to Melrose and Hawick in the Border League and GHA in the BT Cup, victory in Aberdeen would see Selkirk clinch the BT National 1 title and end a four-year absence from top flight rugby.
This was a rearranged match after the scheduled fixture back on January 24 was called off on the morning of the game.
Their opponents were the division’s third highest scorers, but had also conceded the third highest number of points, so tries were expected.
And tries came. Leading 19-13 at the break, Selkirk switched to cruise control in the second half to take the tie, and the title, by 42-13, replacement Jordan McGowan putting the icing on the cake in the 73rd minute by going over for the bonus-point try (full match report on page 84).
By this time, Peter Wright cut a relaxed figure on the touchline.
Come full-time, he was out of the technical area and onto the pitch quicker than a greyhound out of a trap. Selkirk players remained on the Rubislaw pitch to celebrate their achievement with coaches, members of the committee and a clutch of supporters who had made the long journey north.
The post-match celebrations continued in the dressing room and after congratulating his players, Wright emerged to reflect on a momentous day for the club.
He told The Southern: “I’ve said to the guys you’ve got to enjoy the moment.
“I think this is something like my sixth championship and the boys think you’re taking the mickey, but this is the best purely because of the rugby we played.
“I thought we were very positive through the season. I thought the guys played with a smile on their faces and I felt as though they were enjoying what they were doing. It is a fun pastime for them. A lot of the boys don’t want to go to the professional game, so we’ve got to make Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays fun, and that’s what we’ve tried to do. That’s been our ethos for the season and it’s paid dividends.”
Selkirk will have to wait another few days before finally getting their hands on the trophy. They will be presented with the cup after Saturday’s home game with Peebles (3pm).