Future tense, present imperfect

KELSO, UNITED KINGDOM - February 12: 'Rugby'Premier Cup'Kelso v Selkirk (Fulltime 0-20)'''(Photo by Rob Gray / Freelance)
KELSO, UNITED KINGDOM - February 12: 'Rugby'Premier Cup'Kelso v Selkirk (Fulltime 0-20)'''(Photo by Rob Gray / Freelance)

Kelso 0 Selkirk 20

PREMIER CUP POOL G

Laing Speirs reports from Poynder Park

EACH team played with half an ear on the results of the cup games elsewhere, which might just have been of importance.

But both the Kelso and Selkirk mind sets were overwhelmingly focused on their next games, which are much more critical in both the short and long term.

Selkirk emerged from a not very dramatic encounter looking rather the better placed.

They continued their revival with a tidy if never overwhelming win against a Kelso side showing the strain of recent departures and a forced over-reliance on younger players.

There were only two tries in a game which seldom lived up to the standard long associated with the Scottish Cup, and one of them was a penalty score midway through the first half.

David Cassidy’s good form at fullback for Selkirk turned the game, but personalities were few on a day when the post-match talk turned as much on injury lists and future prospects as on the quality of the rugby.

Rodney Pow spoke for the Selkirk coaching staff when he summed up the game as a useful exercise for his side. But he added that while they had tried to play rugby, the final pass went down a lot, “so there are things to improve on.”

He felt that the winter break had come at the right time for Selkirk, who were really toiling with injuries. “We’ve no magic formula and can’t just open the cheque book and get players in,” he added.

Kelso’s Richard Laing took something from the game, but recognised that it was a stepping stone towards the Kirkcaldy match on Saturday. “Today we had our chances but lacked the cutting edge and were a bit short on composure,” he said.

Kelso made a hesitant start and a few errors early on allowed Selkirk to set up camp in the home 22, a position they were to make their own for much of the game.

Casssidy chipped through to create the scrum which led to the first try, the fullback ending off a move going right for a try which he converted, before adding a penalty when Kelso failed to release.

Selkirk dictated such tactics as were obvious, using the crossfield kick to bring their wingers into the game, but the next score resulted in the Kelso defence taking out the opposing attack too quickly.

Cassidy converted the penalty try, and Kelso were left to struggle with a 17-point interval deficit.

With the home team going offside in front of their posts Cassidy added the only score of the second period with a penalty 10 minutes after the turnaround, but the game never reached any memorable heights thereafter.

One onslaught on the Selkirk line which came to nothing was all that Kelso could muster, and the game fizzled out with some aimless kicking, Selkirk being marginally more imaginative, and Kelso looking as though they just wanted to get rid of the ball.

Kelso : G. Ponton; Alan Haig, A. Riley, C. Renton, Andrew Haig; P. Hume, A. Tait; A. Frame, C. Riddell, B. Lyburn, N. Ioane, F. Young, L. Mitchell, L. Tarry, I. Moody. (Subs D. Cowan, R. Glendinning, I. Wallace, M. Gaskin, G. Kellington.).

Selkirk: D. Cassidy; N. Godsmark, S. Hendrie, R. Nixon, R. Banks; G. Craig, M. McVie; M. Weller, M. Martin, R. Taylor, R. Aglen, S. Willett, R. Crockatt, C. Johnston, C. Marshall. (Subs. D. Scott, R. Godsmark, S. McDonald, S. Forrest, M. Murray).