Last-gasp try earns third victory of this Scottish Premiership rugby season for Selkirk
It was a close-run thing, the Souters having been playing catch-up for much of the match, but they got themselves 27-23 in front when it counted, right at the end.
Though they remain second from bottom of the table, that result, besides making amends for their 45-19 defeat in the reverse fixture in September, takes them to within two points of their eighth-placed visitors at Philiphaugh at the weekend, the hosts being on 20 points from 11 games and Hawks on 22 from ten.
It also widens the gap between them and basement side Jed-Forest to 17 points, their Borders rivals, beaten 31-7 at home to Currie Chieftains on Saturday, having only three try bonus points to show for the 11 matches they’ve played this term.
The Jedburgh club are Selkirk’s next opponents, hosting them at Riverside Park this coming Saturday, with kick-off at 3pm, and they’ll be out to stop their current losing streak stretching to a dozen games as well as preventing Selkirk doing the double against them, having won the reverse fixture in September by 65-35.
That’s one of two derby wins out of three racked up by the Souters this season, the other having been by 21-19 at Kelso in October, accompanied by a 36-8 loss at Hawick later that month.
Selkirk’s try-scorers on Saturday were Ross Nixon, Finlay Wheelans, captain Scott McClymont and Callum Anderson, with Hugo Alderson converting two and also kicking a penalty.
Hawks’ tries were scored by Lewis Stewart, James Imrie and Ryan Flett, with Wayne Burrows adding a conversion and two penalties.
Home head coach Gordon Henderson was pleased to see a tight game going his side’s way after losing three of their eight defeats this season by single-score margins, telling us: “We've had three losing bonus points for games with scores within seven points, and with a couple of minutes to play, it was going the wrong way again but we just managed to keep on fighting and scored a really good try at the end of the game.
“I think we deserved that win after what we went through two of the three weekends prior, when things just didn’t go our way.
“I was really pleased with the way we stayed in the fight and we didn’t panic. There’ve been a couple of games when we’ve panicked and made the wrong decisions, but we didn’t on Saturday.
“We got an opportunity, and when you get opportunities, you’ve got to take them, and we did.
“Fair play to Josh Welsh, he managed to beat a couple of defenders for Callum Anderson to score.”
Looking ahead to this weekend’s derby, Henderson, nicknamed Sesh, added: “There are some bits still to work on, and the Jed game’s going to be another tough Border derby, but we were delighted to have got over the line and with a bonus point as well at the weekend.
“It’s going to be a tough shift at Jed but we need to focus on what we can do and take the emotion out of it. We need to just play rugby the way we can.
“I know it’s a Border game and I know the situation Jed are in, but we’ve got to just think about ourselves.
“If we play at the level we can get to, and we’re getting better, another win’s on the cards, but we’ll have to play for the full 80 minutes against Jed because they’ve got some really good rugby players in that team.
“It’s another game and it gives us an opportunity to show what our attack can do but, at the same time, we’ll have to defend against Jed because they’re dangerous.
“We’ve got to take the emotion out of the game. I know it’s a Border derby but we’ve got to think about us and how we want to play the game. We can’t make the progress we’ve made over the last few weeks then just dive into an arm-wrestle because it’s a derby.”