Selkirk near full strengthfor return to match action

Predicted milder weather should help Selkirk make a quick return to competitive action in BT National League I after last weekend's snow.

Friday, 20th January 2017, 9:00 am
The snow-covered surface which greeted pitch inspectors at Philiphaugh last weekend (picture by Grant Kinghorn)

Blanket-white conditions and plunging temperatures meant the Souters’ home game against Falkirk was one of many fixtures around the country to be axed last Saturday – but the game has already been rearranged for January 28.

Meanwhile, more favourable conditions – hopefully – tomorrow (Saturday) will see Selkirk return to action with a visit to Edinburgh Accies.

The capital side are in second spot in the table, a couple of points behind leaders Marr, while Selkirk are still holding on to fifth place, a point ahead of GHA and six points behind Falkirk.

Team manager Tom Ramage has virtually a full-strength squad from which to select which, he said, was “a great headache to have”.

Several previously injured players, including Gavin Craig and Scott Hendrie, were back in contention, with the likes of Scott Tough and Max Gordon possibly due back at the end of the month.

It was likely the same XV who had been picked against Falkirk might turn out, but Ramage said: “We have quite a complement back, so it’s great to be able to pick and choose who to put in the first team now – absolutely grand.

“There’s a settled back three. There are no concerns with the midfield just now but there is a multitude of things you could do there.

“We have a settled side at present.”

The call-off last Saturday had been very frustrating, especially after the most recent game against GHA, who defeated Selkirk 38-36.

The Souters had fought back superbly after looking out of it at half time and were cruelly unlucky to miss with a late conversion attempt which would have tied the scores.

“They were eager to get back on the winning way,” said Ramage, adding that Falkirk at home would have been a good test.

“Nevertheless, I am looking forward to getting stuck in about Edinburgh Accies,” he said. “It will be a hard shift up at Raeburn, but there again, they are a big, physical side.

“We just have to match their physicality with ours. Speed and guile, as they say.”

Ramage admitted the Souters had been “really hammered” the last time they met Accies in October at Philiphaugh – with Edinburgh winning 31-10 – and he hoped very much he would not witness a repeat.

“We will give them a game, anyway,” he promised.

With the Falkirk match rescheduled for ‘cup weekend’ the following Saturday, it would be good to keep the match play flowing, he added.

League I Borders rivals Jed-Forest lost 25-17 last time out to Stewart’s Melville, which knocked their promotion bid slighty askew. Tomorrow, they host Hamilton, bruised by a 64-12 beating last week at home to Marr.