Currie just too hot for Selkirk to handle

A much-changed Selkirk side simply had no answer to a powerful, high-intensity performance by Currie Chieftains in Saturday’s first-round Scottish Cup tie at Philiphaugh.

Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 4:05 pm
Henry Birthray embarks on a break late in teh game for Selkirk (picture by Grant Kinghorn)

Trailing 32-0 after 49 minutes, the home team did manage to hit back with three tries in the game’s later stages.

But, by then, the visitors had already booked their place in the competition’s second-round draw.

Playing into the wind, Selkirk found themselves pinned deep in their own territory for long periods of the first half, with Currie’s task facilitated by a string of penalties being awarded against the home team.

The writing was on the wall as early as the third minute, when Currie lock Mike Vernel took an offload in midfield and cut through the home defence from the ‘22’ to score under the posts without a hand laid on him.

Just before half time, Selkirk skipper Ewan MacDougall was asked by referee Ross Mabon to warn his players about persistent infringing at the breakdown.

But, ironically it was the home number eight himself who was yellow-carded at the next ruck for coming in from the side.

Currie managed to add two more tries before the interval through Charlie Brett and Gregor Hunter – who went on to amass a personal haul of 19 points from his try, two penalties and four conversions – making the interval score 25-0 in the visitors’ favour.

The point of no return for the Souters came 10 minutes into the second half when Currie’s giant-sized replacement prop, Cairn Ramsey, set off on a charge from the halfway line and managed to score under the posts without being brought down.

Stung into action, Selkirk finally found their attacking edge, producing tries for Henry Bithray, one of the home team’s best performers on the day, and Ryan Cottrell, both converted by scrum-half Scott Clark.

Two tries by Currie’s comeback centre Robbie Nelson underlined the visitors’ dominance. One of the biggest cheers of the day was reserved for Selkirk’s teenage replacement wing, Nathaniel Armstrong, who took Bithray’s offload to run in for a try to cap his 1st XV debut.

After the match, Selkirk coach Scott Wight admitted it had been a disappointing result while stressing that meeting a team like Currie in the cup was a good yardstick to judge themselves against at this point in the season.

“Nathaniel coming in and getting a try is brilliant for him, and Matty Francis getting 20-25 minutes is also positive,” he said. “It’s important we keep developing young players at Selkirk, for that’s the backbone of this club – having so many local guys in it.

“That said, we were off the pace today and got beaten by a better team.

“How easily they were scoring tries was the most disappointing thing.

“We’ve now got a couple of weeks to regroup and get fully prepared for our next game at home to Edinburgh Accies.”