Poor start plagues Souters again before recovery

Number eight Ewen MacDougall, in his first full game back after injury, on the charge for Selkirk (picture by Grant Kinghorn).
Number eight Ewen MacDougall, in his first full game back after injury, on the charge for Selkirk (picture by Grant Kinghorn).

Kelso 29, Selkirk 42

Selkirk emerged on top after this lively BT National League 1 Borders derby – but an inexplicably slow start almost derailed them once again.

The Souters found themselves 14-0 behind after just six minutes at Poynder Park, with echoes of recent outings in which the opposition have been virtually out of sight before half-time.

But matters improved for Selkirk after their forwards began winning the ball and providing good service for the backs, who were in fairly ruthless form.

Selkirk’s points came via two tries apiece for Steven Hamilton and Darren Clapperton, one each for Josh Welsh and Ross Nixon, plus three conversions and two penalties by Aaron McColm.

Manager Tom Ramage admited there were “seeds of doubt” in his mind for the opening six minutes, during which Kelso exclusively had the ball.

“Once we got the ball – the forwards were giving us a good suppy of ball – then Kelso didn’t have an answer to our backs – Clapperton, Wagman, Hamilton and Welsh – who ripped them apart out wide,” he said.

Kelso were pleased with many aspects of their display but blamed a lot of basic errors and missed tackles for their eventual defeat.

“In the first half, they scored three tries and they were all through our mistakes, especially the one from halfway, by Andrew Skene,” added Ramage. “But it was a workman-like win.”

Ramage said he was “quietly confident” at half time, when Selkirk trailed by only four points at 24-20.

“I felt if we keep the supply of ball coming, we would score more points, and we scored another 22 points in the second half,” he said.

“It was good to see the forwards manning up and taking Kelso on up front, which we did quite adequately. Our scrum was good too – it has faltered a bit in past weeks.”

Selkirk’s next game on March 3 is at home to champions-elect Edinburgh Accies, who have won every league game of their campaign so far.

Selkirk, said Ramage, would have nothing to fear – they would go into the game as underdogs but with open eyes.

“We’re playing the league champions – let’s get on with it,” he added. “We are scoring points just now, so we could have an upset on the day.”

Selkirk had the home advantage and a good result could set them up for the next two games, also at home, against Gala and Stewart’s Melville FP.

“They (Edinburgh Accies) like to throw the ball about, the same as us, so I’d be hoping for a nice, open game, plenty of points, and hopefully us coming out on top,” said Ramage.