Selkirk 21-31 Stirling County

Selkirk centre Craig MacDougall on the charge
Selkirk centre Craig MacDougall on the charge

SELKIRK 21

STIRLING COUNTY 31

Selkirk’s hopes of following up their win over Gala with victory against Stirling perished in a costly midmatch slump either side of half time.

But a late brace of tries by Philiphaugh men at least made defeat less unpalatable.

Playing excellent handling rugby and dominating territorially Selkirk deservedly led 7-3 after an early try from winger Scott Hendrie and the conversion by stand-off Rory Banks. But, in a five minute spell before half time, Selkirk were hit by two tries in quick succession that gave Stirling a 17-7 interval lead.

Then as Stirling exerted their greater physical advantage the visitors grabbed two further tries to give them a match winning advantage, albeit Selkirk restored some pride with two impressively constructed late tries to give the scoreline a truer picture of matters on the field.

“It was probably our best 35 minutes and our worst 25 minutes consecutively,” stated Selkirk coach, Peter Wright after the game.

“It was important that we came back in the end and got a couple of tries. It gives the boys confidence to go in against Heriot’s next Saturday.”

Selkirk went into the match without first choice scrum half Mikey Davies, due to a leg injury, and with their reliable centre Craig McDougall below par. “Craig was really struggling because he was suffering with some sort of bug so we asked him to do only 40 minutes,” explained Wright.

“We don’t have a big squad of players so we just have to get on with it. But you know what, they’re playing with a smile on their face and there’s some good rugby in there.

Stirling’s 17-7 half time lead resulted from tries by New Zealanders Dylan Simpson and Nick Grigg both converted by winger Johnny Hope, who had opened the scoring with a penalty goal.

Selkirk went further behind early in the second half when Stirling’s forwards engineered a try for prop Mark Hunter and then when wing Matt Lamb cantered through a disorganised Selkirk defence, Hope adding both conversions.

The home side then staged a late recovery with a try in the corner for replacement Callum McEwan and a touchdown by number 8 Callum Marshall, Banks converting both scores to ease the pain of defeat.