Winning start to year for Selkirk’s unbeaten league side

Selkirk vs Watsonians. Rory Banks penalty.
Selkirk vs Watsonians. Rory Banks penalty.

Selkirk8

Stewart’s Melville3

Selkirk opened their 2015 league campaign by winning in style at Philiphaugh on Saturday, battling to a hard-fought victory over a team equal in determination.

The match might not have been able to go ahead at all, had it not been for the efforts of a willing band of volunteers who swept snow off lines, cleared spectator standing areas and relined the pitch with yellow markings.

Selkirk began the match with the breeze at their backs, but it was the visitors who exerted the early pressure. In turn, successive line breaks by Callum McColm and Darren Clapperton tested the Stewart’s Melville defence, which repeatedly prevented the home side’s attacks from generating any real momentum.

In the 22nd minute, the Souters put points on the board when a rolling maul close to the visitors’ line set up a series of surges and prop Cata Graur was able to ground the ball for a try.

Selkirk maintained the pressure on the Stew/Mel defence, but half-time arrived with no further scoring, leaving the hosts 5-0 ahead.

Colleges reduced the deficit after the restart, thanks to a Nick McCashin penalty, given when a Selkirk player was penalised for not releasing.

By the final quarter of the match, Selkirk had used all five replacements, and it was one of this group, Rory Banks, who managed to give the home team some breathing space by successfully kicking a penalty seven minutes from time, allowing his exhausted team-mates to savour yet another hard-earned win.