Jed push leaders Selkirk but struggle up front

Selkirk's Angus Duckett is swamped by Jed players during Saturday's National One match
Selkirk's Angus Duckett is swamped by Jed players during Saturday's National One match

Jed-Forest 10

Selkirk 29

SELKIRK stretched their unbeaten run in BT National One to nine matches at Riverside Park on Saturday, but their hosts tested their resolve to the limit, writes John Smail.

The game was ultimately decided up front, with Jed unable to counter Selkirk’s dominance at the scrum.

The visitors used their ascendancy in this area as a launch pad for their best attacks, with prop Kieran Cooney’s power and experience giving the visitors a massive advantage.

In the match’s opening exchanges, Jed’s ferocious first-time tackling prevented Selkirk from developing any kind of rhythm.

Home stand-off Guido Danil used the wind at his back to telling effect, and a series of long positional kicks ended in David Grieve puttting Jed’s first points on the board from a penalty.

Good pressure by Selkirk saw a powerful rolling maul, with Angus Duckett and fellow Kiwi Matt Kissick joining forces to propel Cooney over the line for the Selkirk’s first try.

They increased their lead three minutes later when Craig MacDougall raced under between posts, Josh Welsh converting.

Two minutes into the second half, Jed roared back into the game.

Darren Clapperton’s floated pass to Duckett was intercepted outside the home team’s 22 by Jed wing Greg Walker, who sprinted upfield and, after kicking the ball over Selkirk’s line, beat Clapperton to the touchdown. Grieve’s conversion cut the lead to 12-10.

Selkirk hit back almost immediately. A drive up the right touchline saw Mikey Davies switch the ball infield to Callum McColm, who managed to find Clapperton in space. The wing’s pass to Welsh was knocked on by Walker, but with advantage being played the Selkirk full-back did well to beat defenders Michael Weekley and Daniel Ritchie to score in the corner.

Clapperton raced over in the 65th minute for Selkirk’s bonus-point try after good work by Nixon to tie in the Jed defence and Welsh to provide a secure link out wide.

The home team suffered a major blow soon afterwards when Danil was helped to the sideline with a painful knee injury, and in the final minute Cooney got his second after being driven over the line by Kissick and James Bett. Rory Banks added the conversion.

The final whistle blew two minutes later, bringing the curtain down on another notable Selkirk victory.