Late show earns second win of Scottish Premiership rugby season for Selkirk
The Souters went into the weekend’s game second from bottom of the standings, with only Borders rivals Jed-Forest standing between them and Scottish National League Division 1, and for much of the 86 minutes played, it looked as if that’s how they’d end it, having fallen 19-7 behind by half-time and still trailing, by 19-14, as the final whistle loomed.
A try by full-back Callum Anderson right at the death got them back on level terms, at 19-all, however, and Aaron McColm’s ensuing conversion earned them four points.
That return takes their points tally to 11 from six fixtures, like Kelso, and, to add insult to injury, they’ve now leapfrogged their eighth-placed hosts in the table to claim seventh place on points difference.
Both are now equidistant from basement side Jed and, at the other end of the table, the top-four play-off places, there being nine points separating them from each of those extremes.
Next up this coming Saturday, with kick-offs at 3pm, are visits from fourth-placed Heriot’s Blues for Selkirk and sixth-placed Edinburgh Academical for Kelso.
Both the Souters’ other tries, also converted by McColm, were touched down by lock Callum Turnbull.
Kelso’s try-scorers were stand-off Dwain Patterson, full-back Archie Barbour and player-coach Bruce McNeil, with Patterson converting two of them.
Being a Border League double-header, Saturday’s derby saw Selkirk go level with table-toppers Hawick on eight points from two fixtures, settling for second place by virtue of points difference.
Kelso are fourth after two games, with four points to their name.
Selkirk captain Scott McClymont is delighted to see his side on the up at last, telling Borders Rugby TV afterwards: “I think the pressure was on us after the Musselburgh game as we felt we let it slip last week.
“It is still early in the season to have a big game but we knew this one was because we needed a win to get us clear of Jed at the bottom.
“The first half wasn’t good for us, so we said at half-time it was about digging in in the second half, winning individual battles and playing the game in their half, and we did that and got a reward.
“We’ve got a lot of Selkirk boys in the squad and it’s great to be part of, but even greater when you’re winning, and that was a big win.
“We’re looking forward now to playing Heriot’s Blues back at Philiphaugh.”
His opposite number, Andy Tait, on the other hand, was disappointed to have let slip a chance to get within three or four points of the top half of the table, saying: “We felt in full control, in the first half especially, but we just didn’t take our chances.
“One more score would have sealed the game and we just didn’t go and get it.
“Credit to Selkirk, they put us under pressure with their kicking in the second half and they worked hard, but we then went a bit away from the game-plan and a few errors let them into the game, so we’re frustrated with ourselves.
“We knew that Selkirk, even if we’d got that bonus-point try, are a team that never go away, and it showed as they managed to steal it at the death.
“That’s a key difference between playing in the premiership and National 1. At this level, if you’re not set early and in your shape, you’re punished.
“It’s fine margins, and teams exploit errors at this level, but we have a lot of young lads and we will learn from this and come back stronger.”