Selkirk hit by high-flying Hawks in even tussle

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Glasgow Hawks 28

Selkirk 12

RBS NATIONAL LEAGUE

IN a game which was much closer than the scoreline might suggest, Selkirk’s players came up just short against promotion-seeking Glasgow Hawks in Saturday’s full-blooded contest at Old Anniesland.

Perhaps the most telling difference between two evenly-matched teams was the city side’s ability to take their chances and turn pressure into points.

“I thought our boys showed great effort today,” Selkirk head coach Brian Cassidy said after the match, “but unfortunately a lot of the good work was undone by basic errors.”

Cassidy was particularly pleased by his team’s scrummaging, with the front row of Clement Lacour, James Bett and Cata Graur coming in for special mention.

“I also thought young Eddie Turner showed real promise in his first start for the club, and the fact we had three 19-year-olds on the bench augurs well for the future.”

The visitors allowed Hawks to pressurise their line from the start after Andy White’s kick-off bounced straight into touch.

And, with only four minutes on the clock, a home counter-attack ended when lock Ruaridh Wilson (no relation to Selkirk’s player of the same name) sold an outrageous dummy to crash over for the game’s opening try.

Mike Adamson’s conversion put Hawks 7-0 ahead.

Stirred into action, Gavin Craig’s break up the middle saw Scott Hendrie make further inroads towards the home try line, but the Hawks cover arrived in time to prevent Daren Clapperton squeezing over at the corner.

A scrum pick-up by Ryan Crockatt shortly afterwards kept up the visitors’ momentum, and it took two home players to hold up Angus Duckett over the line.

A powerful run by full-back Fraser Harkness, well-supported by Matt Kissick, took play deep into Hawks’ territory, but the promise of a try evaporated when the final pass went straight to a home player.

In the 11th minute Selkirk gave their large band of travelling supporters something to cheer about.

Once again, it was Harkness who proved the catalyst with another surging run, before quick hands by Darren Clapperton allowed Rory Banks to scamper over for a try.

Hawks responded midway through the half when Tom Steven sprinted down the left touchline to score. Adamson’s conversion sailed over to put the home team 14-5 ahead.

Josh Welsh replaced Rory Banks at the start of the second period and it looked as though the Souters would make early inroads into the home total when a 45-metre break by Harkness took play deep into Glasgow territory.

However, the city men managed to win quick turnover ball and raced straight back up the field – Ali Maxwell setting up wing John Wright for a classic counter-attacking touchdown.

But Selkirk were rewarded midway through the half when Gavin Craig’s clever break allowed Darren Clapperton to hare down the stand touchline and sidestep Hawks’ last defender for a well-deserved try. McVie’s successful conversion cut the deficit to 21-12.

Within a minute it looked as though Selkirk were right back in the game after Gavin Craig intercepted a Hawks pass and burst over the line to touch down between the posts. However, one of the assistant referees deemed a visiting forward had knocked on earlier in the move and the score was disallowed.

Glasgow rubbed salt into the Borderers’ wounds by notching a bonus-point try in the closing minutes through Paul Henderson. Adamson added the extras.

Selkirk: F. Harkness; R. Banks, S. Hendrie, R. Nixon, D. Clapperton; G. Craig, M. McVie; C. Lacour, J. Bett, C. Graur, E. Turner, M. Kissick, E. MacDougall, A. Duckett, R. Crockatt. Subs: J. Welsh, B. Reid, R. Wilson, M. Waldron.