IT MAY have been a tumultuous season for Selkirk’s senior rugby clubs, but as far as the young players in the town are concerned, the sky is still the limit.
Leading the way is young Caitlin Cottrell. Tonight, on the main pitch at Murrayfield, the 14-year-old Selkirk High School pupil will appear in her first national cup final when she turns out for Langholm Girls in the Brewin Dolphin Under-15 competition.
Caitlin began her rugby career in primary three when she joined Selkirk Rhinos, but on moving to Selkirk High School found that she was struggling to find a team. After training for a spell with the now dwindling Gala girls squad she was introduced to the Muckle Toon squad, who invited her down to play with them.
Coached by Iain Park, the girls have played and won three matches without conceding a single point in the competition so far, and Caitlin is confident her team can do the business again tonight when taking on Auchterarder in the final.
Also a keen footballer, Caitlin plays for Hearts Under-15 girls, with whom she broke her collar bone two months ago. She has only recently been declared fit to take part in tonight’s game.
“I’m a bit gutted that I had to miss some of the season, but I’m so pleased I can play in the final,” she told The Wee Paper.
“I still can’t actually take it in that I am going.
“I supported the girls in some of the other games and have seen Auchterarder in action. They are a good side, but I think we can cope with the challenge.”
Playing at scrum half, Caitlin has had plenty of help in training. Older brother Greg captains Hawick and also wears the No9 jersey, while younger sibling Ryan plays for Selkirk High School S1s. She has also had support from Selkirk RFC development officer Iain Paxton, Graham Marshall and Alan Aitken from the high school, mum Susan, dad Dave and older brother Steven.
z On Tuesday night, the High School team will compete for the Brewin Dolphin Under-16 Bowl against Buckhaven High School on the Murrayfield back pitches (6pm).
Coach Paxton told us: “The boys are very excited about playing in a final at Murrayfield.
“They have prepared and applied themselves at training since the semi-final and are raring to go. Also, having won all their games ‘on the road’ so far, are approaching this final journey with a very confident and positive attitude.”