Paxton feels frustration over faulty performance

Former Selkirk Player and now Scotland centre Alex Dunbar with the legends
Former Selkirk Player and now Scotland centre Alex Dunbar with the legends

Selkirk RFC’S progress in the National League was severely dented last Saturday with a 21-all draw against Kelso which benefitted neither side.

It was disappointing – for players, coaches and supporters alike – although a draw was probably a fair result considering the effort both teams put in.

At the end of the day Selkirk perhaps were guilty of orchestrating their own downfall as faulty finishing and poor decision-making on the ball, one of which allowed Kelso’s David Gobby an easy interception try, crept into an otherwise solid performance.

“It was a frustrating afternoon,” admitted Selkirk’s forwards coach, Iain Paxton.

“We started well. But from the moment we gave away the interception we kind of just lost our way. We were very guilty of mistakes and forcing the play.”

A performance of powerful scrummaging and dogged defence from the Poynder Park men, however, also played its part in the result.

“To be fair, Kelso defended well,” added the former Scotland and Lions No. 8.

“What was disappointing is that we’ve been playing so much better. So to turn out and not put in the performance we expected was disappointing.

“I suppose the only positive is that we didn’t get beaten.”

Result aside, the large crowd, including several former Scotland internationals who had been attending the pre-match Legends Lunch, were treated to an entertaining and enthralling encounter.

The early exchanges saw both teams testing each other out and it was Selkirk who emerged with the opening points when Scott Hendrie showed soccer skills to score in the corner.

Kelso’s Ben Cooper replied with a penalty, but Selkirk stormed back in style, Angus Duckett going in at the posts to leave a simple conversion for Josh Welsh.

The hosts were then dealt a sucker punch when a long floated pass from Gavin Craig was intercepted and Gobby won the race to the line to touch down. Cooper’s conversion and injury-time penalty sandwiched a try by Dom Buckley to give Kelso an 18-12 lead at the break.

With the elements now in their favour, the Philiphaugh outfit chipped away at the Kelso lead with two Josh Welsh penalties – and with the scores tied at 18-18, it was game on.

Cooper edged Kelso ahead with his third penalty, but the Souters raised their efforts in an attempt to regain the lead.

It took some desperate Kelso defending to hold out, but with only three minutes left on the clock, Josh Welsh put the disappointment of an earlier missed penalty behind him and successfully navigated the ball between the sticks to square the game at 21 points apiece.

Selkirk travel to Myreside tomorrow to face second- placed Watsonians who are still only four points ahead of the Souters in the National League table.