Peter Wright and his assistant coaches announced their resignations yesterday after Selkirk RFC were beaten 31-12 by Melrose in their final game of the season.
Wright, who joined the Philiphaugh club in season 2014/15 and took them up to the Premier League after a 22 game unbeaten run, said it was time the club had a “different voice”.
“I have had a great two years with Selkirk but it’s somebody else’s turn now,” he said after yesterday’s game.
The Souters have struggled to cope with the physicality of top flight rugby this season and were resigned to relegation, back to National Division One, at the beginning of the year having only won one game.
“We feel we have taken the team as far as we can,” added Wright.
“Last season was unique and we had to come up to the Premiership to find out if we were good enough and plainly we are not. National One is now the level Selkirk have to maintain.”
Assistant coaches Neil Wood and Cameron Cochrane, who has also left his post as Director of Rugby at Selkirk RFC, have also stood down.
It was apparent for all to see yesterday the extent of the gap in divisions as Melrose, fielding several young fringe players, easily put their hosts to the sword.
John Dalziel’s men came out of the traps at an alarming rate, scoring tries with Grant Runciman touching down twice, Joe Helps converting both, in the opening 10 minutes.
Buoyed by an enthusiastic home support Selkirk bounced back and the pressure was all theirs in the ensuing 10. Melrose, for the most, soaked up the pressure during this period although the hosts did get the scoreboard turning when some good handling by the backs led to Darren Clapperton going over in the corner.
Melrose took the reins once more and play returned to the Selkirk half of the pitch where scrum half Murdo MacAndrew managed two touch downs, one converted by Helps, to stretch the lead to 26-5 by the break. Half-time: Selkirk 5 Melrose 26.
Whatever had been said in the home dressing room appeared to have worked after the restart as Selkirk camped out in the Melrose 22 for most of the half. The Melrose defence proved themselves up to the task however and held out for a full 25 minutes before Selkirk No 8 Callum Marshall forced his way over amid a pile of blue shirts. Rory Banks converted but with only 10 minutes remaining the hosts were still staring down the barrel of a derby defeat.
Indeed it was Melrose who scored next with Ally Grieve scrambling over the Melrose line to claim a try.
Selkirk went down fighting though, literally a bout of fisticuffs in the Melrose 22 allowed both sets of players to alleviate their frustration before the final whistle.
Selkirk: D. Clapperton; S. Hendrie, L. MacLennan, C. MacDougall, C. McEwan; R. Banks, M. Davies; L. Mabenge, J. Bett, C. Grauer, P. Forrest, M. Gordon, E. MacDougall, A. Duckett, C. Marshall. Subs: S. Tough, D. Swinbanks, K. Cooney, J. McGowan, J. Houston.
Melrose: N. Godsmark; N. Irvine-Hess, J. Helps, A. Nagle, B. Colvine; R. Mill, M. MacAndrew; J. Bhatti, C. MacKay, R. McLeod, J. Head, L. Carmichael, R. Knott, G. Runciman, G. Dodds. Subs: C. Crookshank, E. McQuillan, A. Grieve, S. Chalmers, G. Wood.