PREMIER DIVISION TWO
AFTER early Saturday morning rain, Philiphaugh was drenched in late summer sunshine for the visit of Biggar.
And the hosts got off to a scorching start when prop Clement Lecour fed Fraser Harkness, who burst through to the try line, beating two men in the process. David Cassidy brought out full points.
Selkirk welcomed the return of experienced half backs Gavin Craig and Michael McVie for their first league appearances of the season, and it did not take long for them to make their mark with a slick combination that led to a scintillating try.
Fly half Craig left the opposition bewildered with a classic break and McVie timed an angled run to perfection to go in unopposed for try number two. Cassidy’s conversion stretched Selkirk’s lead.
With only 10 minutes gone the hosts seemed to be firing on all cylinders, but, to their credit, Biggar regrouped and were rewarded for attacking play when Conor Lavery crossed over for a fine try which Craig Parker converted.
Selkirk were on the ascendency and were confident enough to spurn two kickable penalty opportunities by opting to kick to the corner. However, sloppy play enabled Biggar to repel the danger and much of the next 10 minutes saw both teams cancelling each other out in attack and defence.
On the half-hour mark, Parker neatly dropped a goal before showing excellent pace to edge his team in front with a well-taken try.
His conversion was successful and Selkirk’s welfare was not helped by a sin-binning for skipper Neil Darling with the interval approaching. Biggar took full advantage when centre Cameron Thomson added an unconverted try on the stroke of half-time, making the score 22-14 in favour of the visitors.
Biggar had stunned Selkirk with 22 points in 25 minutes, but with the elements now in their favour, Selkirk started to claw their way back.
Three successful penalties by Cassidy saw the home team grab a narrow lead, but Biggar were still having the better of play including territorial advantage.
Thomson was shown yellow with 15 minutes remaining and that certainly took some of the steam out of their challenge.
And, with fully 80 minutes gone, a timely drop-goal charge-down by Calum Johnston probably saved the day for the hosts. This performance was not one of Selkirk’s best, but they showed that if they have to win ugly then they certainly can.
Selkirk: F. Harkness; S. Hendrie, D. Cassidy, R. Nixon, C. Beattie; G. Craig, M. McVie; G. Patterson, S. Forrest, C. Lacour, C. Marshall, R. Aglen, N. Darling, C. Johnston, A. Renwick. Subs: C. McColm, P. Forrest, J. Kikvidze, R. Taylor.