Stewart’s/Melville FP 23
RBS NATIONAL LEAGUE
FIONA SCOTT reports from Inverleith
THEY went to Inverleith to prove a point and on Saturday that’s exactly what the travelling Souters did.
Having been deprived of a crucial bonus-point win by the most unfortunate of incidents, the previous week, Brian Cassidy’s men bounced back and put in the performance of the season to gain a five-point victory over close league rivals Stewart’s/Melville FP.
“When you get two teams as equal on ability as those two are then it was always going to be the good old Selkirk spunk that got them through and that’s exactly what happened,” said the delighted visiting coach.
“That was a tight game. Why did we come out on top? Because we showed the spirit, the hunger and the togetherness that Selkirk should show. Yes there was some good rugby, but it was the Selkirkness in this team that won that game and I was proud as punch of them today.”
For the many travelling supporters the game came as a very welcome breath of fresh air also, and the appearance of some late autumn sunshine capped off a tremendous day in the capital for all.
Selkirk started the stronger, with Michael McVie missing a penalty and Fraser Harkness halted just short of the line, but the hosts were never going to make it easy and a break on the counter attack saw Richard Borthwick run in the opening try for Stew/Mel.
McVie was unlucky to have his second penalty attempt bounce back off the posts and once again the Edinburgh side scored against the run of play when Liam Steele went on a sprint to touch down.
Selkirk responded in kind, Darren Clapperton running in for McVie to convert, and just as the 30-minute mark approached, Rory Banks ran through to edge the visitors in front.
Stewart’s snatched the lead back when Mike Hanning slotted over a brace of penalties in rapid succession and McVie popped over a penalty of his own and Banks ran in his second try, converted by McVie, to put Selkirk 22-16 up at half time.
The see-saw continued after the restart. Stew/Mel went back in front when Hayden Lingard crossed the whitewash and Mike Hanning converted. Selkirk lost Neil Darling to the sin bin, but managed to hold on, and once they were back to a full quota got themselves ahead with another McVie three-pointer.
Going into the last 10 minutes the game was still very much in the balance, with Selkirk leading 25-23, but the Souters found that bit more in the tank and some slick handling by Angus Duckett and Matt Kissick led to replacement Callum Johnston throwing himself over the line for the bonus-point try. McVie converted and it was with much celebration that the large travelling Selkirk support met the final whistle.
Selkirk: R. Banks; S. Hendrie, F. Harkness, R. Nixon, D. Clapperton; G. Craig, M. McVie; C. Lacour, S. Forrest, C. Graur, A. Renwick, M. Kissick, N. Darling, A. Duckett, R. Crockatt. Subs: K. Monks, C. Johnston, J. Bett, M. Waldron, E. MacDougall.