SELKIRK had to dig deep to contain a fired-up Peebles in Saturday’s RBS Border Regional Cup fixture at Philiphaugh, writes John Smail.
Peebles started the game at a higher tempo than their hosts, who conceded three penalties inside the first six minutes.
Donald Anderson’s kick to touch from the last of these saw the visitors’ pack launch a rolling maul towards the Selkirk try line, and another infringement soon afterwards saw Greg Raeburn kick over Peebles’ first points.
Selkirk replied in kind through a Josh Welsh penalty on the 10-minute mark, but it was the visitors who continued to show the greater purpose and commitment.
Peebles regained the lead after 14 minutes thanks to a try by openside Kieran Brown, who raced under the posts following a series of tightly controlled drives. Raeburn added the conversion.
Stung into action, a quickly taken tap penalty by home scrum-half Mickey Davies saw Josh Welsh launch an attack before feeding Matt Kissick, with the lanky number eight making ground up the left before being stopped.
Quick ball allowed Gavin Craig to find Angus Duckett in support on his right, with talented youngster Lewis MacLennan taking the flanker’s off-load to cut inside the Peebles cover and dive over for his first senior try for Selkirk.
There was no further scoring before half-time, but Selkirk had several chances to go ahead – Craig and Scott Hendrie at the heart of their attacks.
Selkirk replaced scrum-half Mikey Davies with Michael McVie at the start of the second half – the ex-captain’s first taste of senior rugby for three months after fracturing his thumb against Watsonians at the end of August.
McVie and Raeburn both missed chances at goal before Welsh stepped up to land his second penalty of the afternoon and put Selkirk ahead for the first time in the contest at 11-10.
Less than a minute later Raeburn had the chance to restore Peebles’ lead following a deliberate knock-on by Duckett, but the visiting full-back’s attempt drifted wide.
Welsh had the chance to put his side four points clear but his penalty attempt went wide.
Peebles spent the final minutes of the game deep in Selkirk territory, but the home side were ion no mood to do anything but hang on.