No happy ending to Tennent's Premiership season for Selkirk but Jed-Forest in with one last chance

Selkirk were denied even the scant consolation of what would have been just their fourth win of the current Tennent’s Premiership season by a last-gasp try at the weekend and Jed-Forest aren’t faring much better as a forgettable campaign draws to a close.

Gregor Young on the ball for Jed-Forest against Marr on Saturday (Photo: Bill McBurnie)
Gregor Young on the ball for Jed-Forest against Marr on Saturday (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

The biggest highlight of a disappointing return to rugby for the Souters was avoiding being relegated to Tennent’s National League Division 1 and even that was a closer-run thing than they’d have liked.

The Philiphaugh side, beaten 27-24 at home by Glasgow Hutchesons’ Aloysians on Saturday, end their season second bottom of the table with 24 points from 18 games, just six more than basement side Aberdeen Grammar.

Third-bottom Jed-Forest, on the other hand, still have one last chance of climbing the table and bowing out on a winning note as they’ve got a twice-rescheduled game away to GHA to play this coming Saturday, with kick-off at 3pm, and a victory would see them move above Musselburgh into seventh place.

Jed-Forest's Nik Stingl and Kieran Hayes teaming up to stop a Marr attack at Riverside Park (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

The Jedburgh side, given a 59-17 thumping at home to second-placed Marr at the weekend, are currently on 30 points from 17 games, having won five so far.

Selkirk contrived to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory after leading 24-10 midway through the second half of Saturday’s game but then allowing their visitors to get back into the game with a brace of breakaway tries followed by a winner touched down in injury time by Benoit Jouary.

That defeat, their 10th in a row, summed up a sorry season, according to head coach Scott Wight.

“We had plenty of territory and possession, and I think it just comes back to the confidence of players and trusting each other,” he told the club website.

Selkirk prop Zen Szwagrzak halting a GHA attack (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

“We had three or four scoring opportunities in the second half that weren’t converted, and that’s why it’s ended up being so close.

“When you’re 24-15 up with nine minutes to go, you think you’re where you want to be, then two mistakes – a missed pass which GHA intercepted and went the length of the field and a mistake in the middle where they’ve again gone the length – and the game’s completely changed.

“It’s not for a lack of effort by the players – you look at the effort Callum Anderson put in at the end to chase down one of their players and save a certain score. Credit to GHA, who just ground us down in the end.

“I’ve just said to the boys to remember we’re still in the premiership. It’s not been ideal, but we get another chance for a crack at it next year, and we aim to come back bigger, fitter and stronger.”

Selkirk captain Ewan MacDougall putting in a challenge against GHA (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

The hosts’ tries were scored by Luke Pettie, Ewan MacDougall, Zen Szwagrzak and Andrew McColm, with Anderson converting two.

Jed-Forest captain Gregor Young insisted there were positives to be taken from Saturday’s defeat, insisting the scoreline wasn’t an accurate reflection of the effort put in by his side.

“ We’re probably not at 100% strength in depth just now at the club,” he told Borders Rugby TV. “ The boys did stick in but the score doesn’t really reflect that.”

Young was among the Riverside Park club’s try-scorers , along with Finlay Scott and Clark Skeldon, with Gary Munro adding a conversion.

Selkirk flanker James Bett making a challenge against GHA, supported by Bruce Riddell (Photo: Bill McBurnie)
Jed-Forest's Clark Skeldon and Lewis Young in action against Marr (Photo: Bill McBurnie)