RBS BORDER REGIONAL CUP
STUART CAMERON reports
KELSO finally got the monkey off their backs with a first away win of the season at the seventh attempt at Philiphaugh to complete a very satisfying double over Selkirk, winning by the narrowest of margins.
Selkirk won the toss and decided to play into the ferocious wind and driving rain, and tried to keep the score down, something which they achieved by conceding only seven points thanks to a good defensive display.
Kelso dominated territory and possession and their pack had the edge over their Borders rivals, but only one try on 27 minutes by Ali Marsh, converted by Mark Chester, was all they had to show for their statistical advantage.
Selkirk’s prolific kicker David Cassidy missed an opportunity to cut the deficit with an easy penalty goal, but the ball went wide of the right post and it was the visitors who turned round at the break in front.
After the interval Selkirk certainly tore into their opponents with some clever tactical kicking and the backs looked happy to move the ball about, but Kelso’s defence was equal to anything thrown at them and they kept the Souters from scoring a try.
Two penalties from Cassidy in the 50th and 52nd minutes brought Selkirk to within a point and they continued to cause problems, with Darren Clapperton in particular looking dangerous.
But for the second time in a week, Selkirk failed to score a try at home, and streetwise Kelso, who gave a masterclass of closing a game out through their dominant pack, held on to win – and probably deserved it, too.
Kelso prop Kieran Cooney said: “We got the try in the first half and probably sat back a little bit and let them use the wind in the second half. It was a dogfight. I think the weather really levelled the teams and it was just a good hard game.
“Credit to Selkirk for coming back at us, but we were lucky to hold on for the win.”
Selkirk captain Gavin Craig told TheSouthern: “We were confident when we were only seven points down at the break with the wind advantage in the second period, but we didn’t use the elements to our advantage.
“We’ve been working on our defence at training as it’s always been a poor part of our game, but we have to now work on our attack because we used to score tries and we can’t seem to do that at the moment.”
Selkirk: D. Cassidy; N. Godsmark, S. Hendrie, A. Lyall, D. Clapperton; G Craig, M McVie; S. Renwick, S. Forrest, C. Lacour, R. Aglen, A. Renwick, J. Everett, C. Johnston, R. Crockett. Subs: C. McColm, J. Bett, P. Mirrielees, E. MacDougal.
Kelso: K. Wilkinson; R. Selkirk, R. Minto, F. Robson, A. Haig; M. Chester, A. Tait; K. Cooney, C. Riddell, A. Marsh, S. Carnegie, D. Seed, G. Riddell, J. Stevenson, I. Wallace. Subs: S. Lowrie, J. Farries, C. Renton, L. Mallin.