Welsh wizardry helps Souters win

Josh Welsh kicked 23 points.
Josh Welsh kicked 23 points.
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Selkirk got off to a flying start in their opening BT National League Division 1 match against Biggar at Hartreemill on Saturday, with Josh Welsh converting a penalty kick in the third minute.

Biggar replied in kind soon afterwards when Selkirk were caught offside at the breakdown.

Welsh kicked another penalty on the 10-minute mark to edge the visitors in front, but this lead was short-lived, as Mark Bertram intercepted a pass in midfield to run in under the posts for a try, easily converted by Graham Hunter to put Biggar ahead.

Two more penalties from the boot of Welsh made the half-time score Biggar 10 Selkirk 12.

Biggar stunned the visitors with a try straight from the kick-off, when a mix-up allowed Bertram to run clear and score under the posts, with Hunter again adding the conversion.

The match’s turning point came when Craig MacDougall intercepted a loose pass as the home side were threatening to increase their lead, and the ever-alert centre raced home from the halfway line to score the visitors’ first try, which Welsh converted.

On the hour mark visiting fly-half Callum McColm broke up the wing and outstripped the Biggar defence to score a converted try. Biggar cut the deficit shortly afterwards with a touchdown by Andrew Watt, but from this point onwards it was Selkirk who were calling the shots.

With 11 minutes to go, and Selkirk pressurising the Biggar defence, Mikey Davies charged down Watt’s clearance kick, gathered the rebound and scored under the posts to give Welsh a simple conversion kick. The young full-back then added his fifth penalty of the contest, before a concerted line-out drive by the Selkirk forwards saw Kieran Cooney power over in the corner following a series of rolling mauls. Welsh’s superb conversion sailed over from the touchline, giving him a personal haul of 23 points.