RBS REGIONAL CUP
LAING SPEIRS reports from Philiphaugh
Two players wrote their names over this RBS Border Regional Cup game played on a misty Monday night after a weekend postponement, one of them ending up cheerier than the other.
The first of them, Michael McVie, collected a matchwinning 21 points for Selkirk, including one of the cheekiest tries of the season.
For the other, Lewis Young of Jed-Forest, who had earlier scored two good tries, the game didn’t end so happily. His red card, for alleged stamping, in the closing minutes of a game which showed many signs of rustiness from both sides, came when Jed were struggling to recover the enterprise and control they had demonstrated early on.
The coaching staff on both sides took little from the game, with Brian Cassidy of Selkirk feeling his side’s performance had been very poor, with minimal aggression levels, disappointing decision making, and the need for a big improvement come Saturday.
Kevin Amos of Jed was even blunter: “We were just not good enough,” he said.
In fact, for any neutral supporters – who couldn’t have been many on a thin night – the game did offer a spirited first half, and there was some colour and enterprise about the early tries.
Some flashes of imagination from Jed’s scrum half Nua Fono-Hunt, and a couple of typical Fraser Harkness breenges for Selkirk, provided early colour, but it was the McVie boot which saw Selkirk open the scoring with a penalty in three minutes.
Lewis Young’s first try after a quarter of the game followed some crisp passing down the right hand side, Ian Chisholm adding the conversion.
McVie came back at Jed with another penalty, but then Lewis Young raced the length of the field after Gavin Craig and Harkness couldn’t control the ball under the Jed posts.
McVie was taking charge for Selkirk, adding another penalty, and then nipping in at the corner after spurning the chance of going for another three points when Selkirk were awarded yet another penalty.
This was just on the interval which Selkirk reached with a 16-12 scoreline, looking like setting them up for a big win.
But a dreary second half took a long time to come to life. Some scrappy play was ended with a Darren Clapperton try far out on the left, but Selkirk were making heavy weather of the game.
Jed began to lose control, Selkirk took a long time to take advantage, and it was only another McVie try, awarded after a discussion between the officials, that took them into the comfort zone.
Lewis Young had departed by that time, and a rather flat game ended with a feeling that while both teams have got something worthwhile in their tanks, they never got the engine in gear.
Selkirk: F. Harkness; R. Banks, S. Hendry, R. Nixon, D. Clapperton; G. Craig, M.McVie; S. Renwick, J. Bett, C. Graur, A. Renwick, M. Kissick, C.Johnston, A. Duckett. E. MacDougall. Subs: N. Darling, S. Forrest, C.Lacour, A.Given, E. Turnbull.
Jed-Forest: L. Young; G. Young, I. Chisholm, R. Hogg, D. Gobby; E. Scott, N. Fono-Hunt; G. Slorance, David Grieve, A. Frame, G. Elder, N. Cook, M. Weekley, J. Sudlow, Donald Grieve. Subs: A.Ions, S. Raeburn, G. Young, R. Miller, J. Szkudro, C. Gillon.