Selkirk earn point away to Tennent’s Premiership play-off contenders Marr

A trip to Troon to take on a side 32 points and six places above them in rugby’s Tennent’s Premiership was never going to be the easiest of starts to the new year for Selkirk, but they ended up running hosts Marr closer than many would have predicted prior to kick-off, earning a losing bonus point for their troubles.

By Darin Hutson
Monday, 17th January 2022, 6:35 pm
Selkirk in action away to Marr on Saturday (Photo: Jon Pearce/Marr RFC)
Selkirk in action away to Marr on Saturday (Photo: Jon Pearce/Marr RFC)

The Borderers’ 25-18 defeat in South Ayrshire on Saturday, leaving them eighth in the table on 22 points from 14 games, consolidates their hosts’ grip on second place, nine points behind table-toppers Currie Chieftains but six ahead of third-placed Edinburgh Academical.

Selkirk matched their high-flying hosts for much of the game, though, fighting back from being 20-8 down midway through the second half to get within a converted try of snatching an unlikely draw.

The Souters, plagued by injury problems this season, will also have been cheered by the return of two long-term absentees, full-back Ryan Cottrell and prop Moray Haldane, though it wasn’t all good news in that regard, with centre Andrew Grant-Suttie sustaining a finger fracture expected to keep him out of action for several weeks.It was Selkirk that took the lead at Fullarton Park, thanks to a Scott Clark penalty, but Marr responded with unconverted tries by Blair Jardine and Jack Scott.

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Cottrell then marked his return to action after four months out, since dislocating an acromioclavicular joint during Selkirk’s 23-22 defeat at Hawick in September, by touching down to get the visitors to within two points of their hosts at 10-8 down, the 21-year-old’s try also going unconverted.

A Colin Sturgeon penalty extended Marr’s lead to 13-8 by the interval, and come the second half, a try by prop William Farquhar and conversion by Sturgeon saw them pull away, though a rally late on by Selkirk yielded tries, again bereft of extras, for Callum Anderson and Callum McNeill, the latter following a tap penalty by Jack Hamilton, to narrow the gap to two points once more.

The hosts were to have the final say, however, in the form of an unconverted Brandon Sweet try to secure a bonus-point win.

Selkirk are away again this coming Saturday, at Edinburgh Accies, with kick-off at 2pm.