Selkirk ‘A’ recover from early East Lothian onslaught

Selkirk ‘A’ 35, Musselburgh 2nds 19

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 9:55 am
Updated Thursday, 24th October 2019, 9:56 am
Derry Alexander is held up just short of the try line by the Musselburgh 2s (picture by Grant Kinghorn).

It took a gutsy second-half fightback by Selkirk ‘A’ to maintain this season’s unbeaten home record and maintain their top spot in Tennent’s East Reserve League Division 1.

Because Philiphaugh’s back pitch was waterlogged, the game was moved to the Burnmill field across the road – and it was the Musselburgh 2nds players who appeared far less concerned by the late switch of venue.

Tries by Ruairidh Young and the visitors’ giant centre, Ronan Stott, both converted by Brian Walls, saw an uncharacteristically jaded home team deservedly fall behind 14-0 after barely 12 minutes.

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Just before the interval, a quick tap penalty saw home fly-half David Cassidy – who was rock-solid throughout – float a hanging pass out to full-back Mark Rutter, who raced over for Selkirk’s first try.

Scott Clark’s conversion cut the deficit to 14-7, which was the score at half time.

A no-holds-barred team talk by home coach Darren Hoggan at the interval left the Selkirk players in no doubt what was expected of them in the second period, and it wasn’t long before the ex-club captain’s admonition had the desired effect.

Well worked tries by Michael Waldron and Kieran Monks, augmented by two conversions and two penalties from the unerring boot of Scott Clark, put Selkirk back in the driving seat at 27-14.

Despite a try by the visitors’ left wing, Jonathan Cooke, Selkirk wrapped up a bonus-point victory thanks to a late try by Nathaniel Armstrong and a third Scott Clark penalty.

The ball carrying of Derry Alexander and effective work in the loose by flanker Andrew McColm and hooker Matty Francis – later named the Four Seasons Forestry ‘Selkirk Man of the Match’ – contributed to a vastly improved showing by the home team after the break.

With the home pack in the ascendancy, the visitors’ strong-running threequarters had precious little ball with which to work, allowing the Souter players to increasing call the shots.

Selkirk ‘A’ – M. Rutter, N. Armstrong, M. Brass, S. Cockburn, K. Monks, D. Cassidy, M. Waldron, M. Francis, K. Thomson, D. Alexander, L. Cassidy, J. Turnbull, A. McColm, R. Cook. Replacements: A. Davidson, M. Haldane, M. Mackay, P. Smail, H. McDonnell.

Referee – Darren Fisher (Hawick Harlequins).