As a thank you to fans for their support, Aberdeen granted free entry to this rearranged National League One fixture at Rubislaw on international Saturday.
Those who picked club over country were to witness a fine end-of-season encounter.
Within the Selkirk squad there was little, if any, talk of the title pre-match. Complacency was considered almost as big a danger as the opposition on the pitch.
The hosts started in determined mood and, during the opening exchanges, they tried various ways to engineer an opening. A series of line-outs on the edge of Selkirk’s 22 provided them with attacking ball, but the Souters’ well-marshalled defence proved up to the task. After nine minutes, Aberdeen were finally rewarded when Alex Hagart slotted over a penalty.
Their lead, however, lasted little more than five minutes. Selkirk were soon back on level terms when Rory Banks slotted a similar effort on the quarter-hour.
With the wind behind them, Aberdeen continued to have the lion’s share of possession and, after a further period of pressure, Greg Ryan evaded the attentions of the Selkirk defence to run in the opening try. Hagart converted to give Aberdeen a 10-3 lead.
However, two minutes after the restart, the game started to swing Selkirk’s way. Two influential Aberdeen forwards were shown yellow cards and the leaders took full advantage. Scott Hendrie made the break, scoring a fine try in the corner.
A second Hagart penalty moved Aberdeen five points clear, but the visitors’ backs produced another fine running move, with Lewis MacLennan touching down. Banks pulled a tricky conversion kick just wide, but added two further penalties to give Selkirk a 19-13 interval lead.
The message at half-time was simply “keep the scoreboard ticking over”.
They did more than that, they completely dominated the second period. Banks kicked three further penalties to move the Souters 15 points clear. Ross Nixon slipped a perfectly-timed pass to flanker Ewan MacDougall, who touched down. Banks converted and Selkirk were out of sight.
Peter Wright ensured the replacements all got game time and it was one of the players off the bench, Jordan McGowan, who scored the bonus-point try seven minutes from time, with Banks adding a final conversion.
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