League champions show twenty-twenty vision

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Selkirk21

Peebles9

Selkirk RFC may have clinched the title in Aberdeen the previous week, but the team remained focused on Saturday as they aimed to keep their unbeaten league run going.

Both sides should be commended, however, as they attempted to play good running rugby in weather conditions that could be described as atrocious at best.

“The first half was good and we really tried to take the game to Peebles,” said Selkirk head coach Peter Wright.

“Things got a bit messy after the break, though, and credit to both teams for trying to keep playing. The danger was that they were a bit flat after their big win the previous week, but going for a complete unbeaten run is the challenge now and they certainly looked up for that today. We’re all happy.”

Peebles were first to get points on the board through a long-range Greg Raeburn penalty which, with the aid of a strong wind, he repeated twice more in the opening 20 minutes to put his team nine points in front.

Having struggled kicking from hand, the Souters switched to a more manual approach and managed to work their way up to the Peebles 22 with some impressive manoeuvres from the backs. From there the home pack managed to get the ball over the line, only for the ball to be held up. Desperate to give their supporters something to cheer about, though, Selkirk tried again, this time the backs taking charge, and it was Josh Welsh who took the ball across the line following a jinky wee run by Rory Banks.

Welsh crossed for another shortly afterwards, thanks to a spot of brilliance from Callum Marshall, to edge his team ahead.

Not wanting to be outdone, the forwards took control once more and an excellently-worked rolling maul took Angus Duckett over the line just before the break. Half-time score: Selkirk 15 Peebles 9.

Playing with wind advantage after the restart, Selkirk got straight into the swing of things with Banks kicking two penalties to widen the gap and, although the visitors never gave up, the Souters’ well-organised defence prevented Peebles from crossing the whitewash during the remainder of the contest.

Despite the bitter cold, players, officials and supporters from both sides stayed to witness Selkirk 1st XV captain Andrew Renwick taking possession of the BT National League One trophy, presented by Scottish Rugby Council member Doug Ward.