Peebles give gallant performance against Premiership Selkirk

Peebles 22, Selkirk 30

Monday, 6th January 2020, 3:52 pm
Luca Merolle breaks out for Selkirk (picture by Grant Kinghorn)

A Border League game to kick off a new year was perfect for players and supporters at The Gytes on Saturday – and it produced eight tries, with the experience of the Selkirk side proving the difference in the second half.

Peebles led 17-5 at the interval despite losing Patrick Harrison to a yellow card – but they knew the job was only half done and it was to their credit that they battled to the final minute of added time to score a fourth-try bonus point.

Coach Scott Wight watched as his Souters recovered from the deficit at the interval to clinch the ‘bonus’ in the final minutes before Peebles rallied with their own fourth try.

“I always knew it was going to be tough and it was a great opportunity for me to look at some of the 2nds players,” he said. “I would have taken an 18-17 (win).”

Peebles captain Greg Raeburn was delighted with the way his team had played.

“We were pleased we kept going to the end,” he said. “We started well but Selkirk overpowered us in the second half. However, we can take a lot of positives and this gives us the belief that we can compete against teams above us.”

Even with 14 men (Harrison was in the sin-bin for a high tackle on Callum Anderson), they defied the odds to take the lead before Selkirk realised they had a match on their hands against a side two leagues below them.

Selkirk brought on players such as James Bett, Ewan MacDougall and Luke Pettie, who was also yellow-carded for the final 10 minutes.

Tries from Donald Anderson, Ritchey Reed and David Collins, and one Raeburn conversion, to a try by Sean Rankin, gave the hosts a 17-5 half-time advantage.

Selkirk made their experience count as tries from Peter Forrest, Callum McNeill and Andrew McColm turned the game on its

head. Callum Anderson kicked two conversions and two penalties before Scott Stoddart rounded it off with a fourth Peebles try in the 86th minute.

Peebles: J. Matthews; N. Pate, M. Brown, D. Anderson, J. Dow; G. Raeburn, D. Collins; N. Hogarth, P. Harrison, J. Menzies, R. Reed, L. Brinck, M. Anderson, S. Lawson, K. Brown. Replacements: M. Monroe, J. Gray, H. Bell, F. Collins, R. Harrison, R. Guiney,

Selkirk: R. Cottrell; F. Anderson, C. McNeil, L. Berte, N. Armstrong; C. Anderson, S. Clark; M. Haldane, M. Francis, G. Forrest, P. Forrest, S. Rankin, A. McColm, H. Borthwick, L. Cassidy. Replacements: J. Bett, L. Pettie, B. Riddell, A. Mackay, E. MacDougall, R. Hamilton, H. Birthay, R. Hamilton, L. Morelle.