With both sides scoring four tries apiece, the decisive factor in Saturday’s fixture was the pinpoint accuracy of home scrum-half Scott Clark’s goal kicking.
The 20-year-old heating engineer has proved one of Selkirk A’s most consistent performers and his 12-point haul against Stewart’s Melville took his season’s points total to 116 from just 12 appearances – impressive by any standard.
The win kept Selkirk ‘A’ in second spot in the Tennent’s Reserve League East 1 table, although Musselburgh 2nds are only four points behind with a game in hand. The teams meet at Stoneyhill on February 15.
Stewart’s Melville’s giant pack was always going to pose problems for the lighter home eight and the visitors were over the moon when Neil Armstrong scored a try for them with less than 60 seconds on the clock.
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Within two minutes, Selkirk had drawn level with a try by wing Clark Young, and the teenager repeated the feat four minutes later after Mark Leckie had scored the visitors’ second touchdown.
Stout defending allowed Selkirk to keep their line intact as the visitors piled on the pressure, and tries by Matthew Francis and Nathaniel Armstrong, both converted by Clark, put the Souters 26-10 ahead.
Just before the interval, Clark landed two penalties to give the home team a comfortable 32-10 half- time lead.
Stewart’s Melville dominated the second half, denying Selkirk possession and cutting the deficit to 12 points, thanks to tries by their man-mountain lock forward, Alexander Rappestad, and prop, Thomas Petiau.
However, Selkirk held on to their lead thanks to some spirited defence and some booming clearance kicks by David Cassidy.
The Four Seasons Forestry ‘Selkirk Man of the Match’ award was jointly shared by Ross Purves and Jamie Turnbull.
Selkirk ‘A’: S. Cockburn, N. Armstrong, C. McNeill, H. Aynsley, C. Young, D. Cassidy, S. Clark, K. Thomson, M. Francis, R. Reilly, M. Mackay, D. Alexander, L. Cassidy, J. Turnbull, R. Purves. Replacements: P. Smail, G. Forrest, M. Waldron, S. Wilson, A. Tennant, H. Macdonell, K. Monks.
Referee – Darren Fisher (Hawick).