Souters’ gamble on young players pays off

Selkirk 39

Kelso 11

RBS BORDER REGIONAL CUP

A ROUSING second-half performance steered Selkirk to victory on Saturday at Philiphaugh, the match producing three tries for home wing Darren Clapperton.

Afterwards, Selkirk coach Brian Cassidy said: “I thought the young players we brought into the side all acquitted themselves well, with teenagers Michael Waldron and James Bett coping well in the front row. These boys need game time at this level to see what senior rugby is all about, and they’ll have benefitted from the experience.”

With no fewer than seven changes from the side which won at Hamilton the previous week, Kelso still made all the early running.

The Black and Whites took the lead in the fifth minute through a Murray Hastie penalty, but Michael McVie replied in kind soon afterwards to level the scores, following good work by Angus Duckett in the loose.

The visitors went ahead again after 24 minutes when tighthead prop Stuart Lawrie burst down the blindside following steady pressure from the Kelso pack, romping over the line for a try. Hastie missed the conversion, but was successful with a 35th-minute penalty to stretch the Tweedsiders’ lead to 11-3.

Just before the interval Kelso’s Gregg Minto was given a yellow card at a ruck close to the visitors’ try line.

In the last play of the half, the home scrum managed to win a strike against the head and after Cata Graur was stopped a metre short of the line, Matt Kissick gathered the ball and was driven over for Selkirk’s first try. McVie’s conversion made the half-time score Selkirk 10, Kelso 11.

Interval changes saw Duckett replaced by Ryan Crockatt with Rory Banks giving way to teenager Kieran Monks.

Flanker Callum Johnston burrowed his way over for the home team’s second try.

At this point the homesters brought on Steven Renwick and Eddie Turner for Michael Waldron and Alan Lambie respectively.

McVie landed his fourth successful goal kick to put the Philiphaugh men 20-11 in front with 67 minutes on the clock.

In the contest’s final 10 minutes Selkirk scored two further tries through Clapperton.

In injury time a spilled ball by a Kelso player in front of the stand saw Ryan Crockatt gather cleanly and feed Clapperton, who shrugged off the attentions of a defender to race 50 metres and seal an impressive hat-trick of tries.

Selkirk: R. Banks; S. Hendrie, F. Harkness, R. Nixon, D. Clapperton; G. Craig, M. McVie; M. Waldron, J. Bett, C. Graur, A. Lambie, M. Kissick, C. Johnston, A. Duckett, E. MacDougall. Reps: K. Monks, S. Forrest, S. Renwick, R. Crockatt, E. Turner.

Kelso: W. Massey; G. Millar, C. Brown, A. Alexander, G. Minto; M. Hastie, A. Cameron; P. Grahamslaw, C. Riddell, S. Lowrie, D. Seed, A. Wallace, M. Robertson, J. Stewart, S. MacColl. Reps: A. Marsh, A. Wolf, D. Gillespie, T. Wilson, J. Pick.