Souters make it to quarter-finals

Peebles 17

Selkirk 24

RBS BORDERS REGIONAL CUP

FIRED-UP Peebles pushed the Souters all the way in Friday night’s cup contest at the Gytes, but two tries by the visitors during the final quarter of the match were enough to preserve the Philiphaugh team’s unbeaten run in the competition and secure the trophy.

As one of Scotland’s four regional cup winners, Selkirk’s players have guaranteed the club a home tie in the RBS National Cup quarter-finals on March 2 when they will face one of this season’s four British & Irish Cup representatives – Dundee HSFP, Gala, Melrose or Stirling County.

Although Peebles made the livelier start to the match, it was Selkirk who put the first points on the board thanks to two Michael McVie penalties in the sixth and 18th minutes.

Between these scores, Selkirk centre Scott Hendrie limped to the sidelines with a hamstring strain, his place being taken by teenager Lewis MacLennan.

On the half-hour mark Selkirk suffered a second injury blow when an ankle knock saw young wing Josh Welsh helped to the sidelines.

As the visitors’ only backs replacement was already on the field, hooker James Bett was switched to the left wing for the remainder of the game, his place in the front row going to Stuart Forrest.

As half-time approached, Peebles took the lead in dramatic fashion.

McVie’s clearance kick was charged down, allowing James Hemara to fly-hack the loose ball over the visitors’ line and score an opportunist try. Greg Raeburn’s conversion put Peebles 7-6 ahead at the break.

From a line-out close to the Selkirk line, a series of close-quarter drives by the Peebles forwards resulted in a 53rd minute try under the posts for prop Adam Clark.

Donald Anderson’s conversion stretched Peebles’ lead to 14-6.

Clément Lacour was replaced in the visiting front row by Michael Waldron – and almost immediately McVie reduced the deficit with his third successful penalty.

The large travelling support had something to cheer about in the 58th minute when Ryan Crockatt fed Gavin Craig.

The Selkirk fly-half evaded the clutches of two Peebles defenders and spun over the line.

McVie added the extras to put Selkirk back in front at 16-14.

After McVie had kicked his fourth penalty of the night, Selkirk stretched their lead to 24-14 with a Crockatt try.

With eight minutes left on the clock, Peebles cut the deficit to seven points from Donald Anderson’s penalty.

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

Peebles: M. Cruickshank; C. Blyth, C. Scott, J. Hemara, R. Clinch; G. Raeburn, D. Anderson; A. Brown, R. McConnell, A. Clark, K. Clyde, A. Warnock, C. McCann, D. Hall, W. Kearney. Reps: M. Carryer, R. Milne, K. Brown, D. Wills, R. Brown.