Souters stage final quarter fightback

Andrew Renwick slips the ball to Liam Cassidy for Selkirk 'A' (picture by Grant Kinghorn)
Andrew Renwick slips the ball to Liam Cassidy for Selkirk 'A' (picture by Grant Kinghorn)

Selkirk ‘A’ 33, Biggar 2nds 26

A battling fightback in the game’s final quarter saw Selkirk ‘A’ overcome a strong Biggar 2nds side to register an opening-day win in the new-look Tennent’s East Reserve League Division 1.

In sunny conditions, both teams were eager to run the ball, with the home team drawing first blood when Matty Brass landed a penalty – this was to prove the Souters’ only goal-kicking success of the afternoon.

Biggar hit back with tries from Finlay Barr and Euan Bogle, with the latter’s conversion putting the visitors 12-3 ahead.

Powerful drives by Andrew Renwick and Andy Mackay, plus strong runs from Jy Griffin and Lewis Martin, eventually led to tries by Liam Blair, Kieran Monks and Martin, giving Selkirk an 18-12 interval lead.

Indifferent tackling led to a try for Biggar by Marcus Dobie, converted by Bogle, before a penalty try put the visitors 26-18 ahead.

The introduction of 42-year-old ex-Selkirk skipper Scott Tomlinson, first at scrum-half then at stand-off, put fresh heart into the home team, with tries by Monks, Nathaniel Armstrong and Matty Francis sealing a hard-fought victory.

“It was a great team effort and, after a slow start the boys showed a lot of commitment both in attack and defence,” said Selkirk ‘A’ coach Darren Hoggan.

“A bonus point and a home win – you can’t ask for more than that.”

The Four Seasons Forestry Selkirk man of the match was Lewis Martin.

Selkirk ‘A’: C. Rhind, K. Monks, J. Griffin, L. Martin, N. Armstrong, M. Brass, H. McDonnell, L. Blair, M. Francis, K. Thomson, D. Alexander, A. Renwick, L. Cassidy, M. Mackay, A. Mackay. Replacements: S. Tomlinson, S. Brister, C. Fairbairn, M. Stanners, M. Rutter.

Biggar 2nds: S. Hornell, J. Bell, D. Brewster, C. McDonald, J. Baulkwill, E. Bogle, F. Barr, A. Muir, L. Smith, R. Thomson, Z. Lyon, H. Archibald, C. Dunlop, D. McCartney, C. Frame. Replacements: A. Howitson, M. Dobie, J. Muir, C. Taylor.

Referee – Alastair Kirk (Melrose).