Selkirk find their match and then go up a gear

Selkirk's Calum McColm
Selkirk's Calum McColm

Peebles3

Selkirk18

Peebles matched Selkirk inch for inch in the first half, only to lose to a try that never should have happened and one that most swear didn’t.

However, it’s testament to Selkirk’s ability to up their game in the second half that they still sit unbeaten at the top of the National Division One.

A serious period of sideways driving drizzle in the direction of the river end at the Gytes made the first half a comedy of errors, with the ball difficult to handle and kicks tough to judge. Neither side took advantage of the others’ mistakes, though.

Selkirk full back Josh Welsh missed a couple of very kickable penalties before Peebles’ hooker Ryan McConnell was sin-binned for repeated infringements, but even that didn’t help the Souters break the scoreline.

That was done by the home side’s Greg Raeburn, who thumped over a penalty, showing Welsh how it is supposed to be done.

Angus Duckett was next in the sin bin for dumping his Peebles opponent in the line-out. A massive home drive ensued, defended steadfastly by the visitors.

And in time added on, Welsh had a chance to equalise with his most difficult effort yet, and this time it trickled over the bar to leave the half-time score at 3-3.

Four minutes into the second half, the game changed pace. Stand-off Calum McColm controlled a horrifically low pass with his foot 40m out, picked the ball up and wove past four missed tackles to score, Welsh converting.

McConnell was handed his second yellow and a red on the hour mark, and this time Selkirk used the extra man.

They formed a maul and drove towards the tryline, but as half the floodlights were not working properly, it must have been difficult for the referee to see where – and if – the ball had been grounded. Indeed, the whistler, Charles Samson from the Howe of Fife, needed his assistant on the far touchline to tell him a try had been scored.

Nobody in the Selkirk team had claimed it at the end of the match, according to backs coach Cameron Cochrane, but Selkirk’s official report on the game proves hooker James Bett shouted loudest.

Welsh missed the conversion, but added a penalty six minutes from time.

Peebles pummeled the Selkirk line, but a massive defensive effort by the Souters held them out.

Visit our website – www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk – to see post-0match reaction from Peebles coach Drew Moore and Selkirk’s Cochrane.