Souters shine with the pressure off

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Selkirk 33

West of Scotland 24

PREMIER GROUP B

WITH the pressure to preserve their Premier One status lifted from both sides’ shoulders, Selkirk and West left their inhibitions in the dressing room to serve up a free-flowing, action-packed contest.

The home side took just six minutes to put their first points on the board. A well-timed run by skipper Fraser Harkness saw the Scotland sevens player burst through the visitors’ defence, with good support allowing Rory Aglen to charge over for a try close to the posts. David Cassidy’s conversion sailed over.

With 15 minutes gone West drew level. A penalty for handling in the ruck allowed the Burnbrae men to set up camp deep in Selkirk’s 22, and following a series of drives to the home line, scrum-half Mark Davis scrambled over for the score. Conor Davis added the conversion.

West prop Steven Longwell was yellow-carded for over-vigorous rucking and his absence was to prove costly for the visitors.

Following the next scrum, which was uncontested, Ross Nixon and fly-half Gavin Craig released Darren Clapperton on a diagonal run and the young wing touched down for Selkirk’s second try. Soon afterwards Craig again broke through the visitors’ defence, and the ball passed through the hands of Callum Marshall and Clapperton before Harkness joined the line at full tilt to burst over and score.

Then a quick throw saw Craig again make the initial breakthrough before releasing Ross Nixon for Selkirk’s bonus point try. Cassidy’s fourth successful conversion put the home team 28-7 ahead.

To their credit West’s players never let their heads drop, and in the last play of the half number eight Calum Morrison scrambled over for his side’s second try, making the half-time score 28-12.

A third try early in the second period by West centre Matthew Horner gave the Burnbrae men fresh hope, but a try by Cassidy soon afterwards put the result beyond doubt, although West had the final say with a consolation score from wing Calum Mackenzie.

Selkirk: F. Harkness, R. Banks, D. Cassidy, R. Nixon, D. Clapperton, G. Craig, M. McVie, R. Taylor, M. Martin, M. Weller, R. Aglen, S. Willet, R. Crockatt, C. Johnston, C. Marshall. Subs: N. Godsmark, S. Forrest, G. Patterson, E. MacDougall.