Silky Souters hit the top despite player concerns

Craig MacDougall shakes of the Aberdeen defence
Craig MacDougall shakes of the Aberdeen defence
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Demonstrating the resilience shown throughout their unbeaten National League One campaign so far, Selkirk went three points clear at the top of the league after Saturday’s game.

Overcoming late call-offs and player injuries, the Souters stuck to the task in hand and battled on regardless to record their fourth bonus-point victory of the season, while Jed-Forest’s 17-13 victory over GHA ensured Peter Wright’s men had sole ownership of the lead.

Grammar made a lively start, and there were worried faces in the home crowd when Selkirk stand-off Callum McColm left the field in the fourth minute with a nose injury.

Replacement Ross Nixon made an immediate impact, however, by receiving a slick inside pass from Mikey Davies and slicing through for the first try of the game.

A successful conversion from Rory Banks, followed by a penalty goal, extended the home side’s lead.

The 23-year-old was called into the number 15 position on the morning of the match after Selkirk’s in-form full back Josh Welsh had to drop out following a severe bout of tonsillitis.

Aberdeen’s Grant Walker scampered over for a try to put the visitors’ first points on the board, but the hosts were soon back in control when a safe line-out catch from Matt Kissick paved the way for a try by James Bett, converted by Banks, who once again followed up with a penalty to put Selkirk 20-5 ahead at the interval.

The onslaught continued after the restart, when Craig MacDougall blitzed his way past his opposite number to score Selkirk’s third try and put the home side three scores ahead.

A back injury to the visitors’ tighthead prop Colin Neilson saw the match go to uncontested scrums, and in the 66th minute, Selkirk made certain of victory when replacement hooker Ruairi Wilson dived over for the home team’s bonus-point try, converted by Banks.

Grammar notched a consolation try through Ross Lumsden, converted by Alex Hagart, but it was Selkirk who finished the stronger – another touchline break by Darren Clapperton taking play deep into Aberdeen territory, where the referee blew for full time.

Hard-working back row man Angus Duckett, was named the Four Seasons Forestry Selkirk Man of the Match for the third time this season.