LAING SPEIRS reports from Philiphaugh
SELKIRK made the best of starts in what is going to be a tight and very intense competition over the next few weeks ... best, that is, as far as the result was concerned.
But they will want to take their game up at least another notch if they want to avoid what will be a real scrap for survival.
They produced such few flashes of style in a game that won’t last long in the memory.
They had a goal-kicking match-winner in David Cassidy, and an impressive Darren Clapperton on the wing, a man who always looked as though he might carve up the Whitecraigs defence.
That said, it was two of Selkirk’s fowards who scored the tries that lightened up a game which contained too many handling errors to be a classic.
Whitecraigs had some sturdy forwards on display, but seemed reluctant to trust their backs to make a real game of it.
When they did, the Selkirk tackling was secure and made sure that for the first time this season they didn’t concede a point in a competitive match.
Cassidy was prominent in the early play and within 10 minutes had notched the first of his penalty goals. That apart, there was little to get excited about, apart from one break by Fraser Harkness.
Callum Marshall had an easy path to the line for the game’s first try after a scrum, and Cassidy converted before adding a penalty to produce a comfortable and deserved 13-0 interval lead.
There was still a reluctance on both sides to open up until Selkirk realised they had tamed the Whitecraigs’ threat and started to cut loose.
Cassidy added another penalty after a high tackle on Clapperton, and some colour came into the game with a good run by hooker Peter Mirrielees.
Then Clapperton showed impressive form in a couple of big runs and Selkirk were in total charge.
Whitecraigs made a rare attempt to open up, the move broke down on the 22, and Andy Renwick gathered and stormed to the line for the clinching score.
With Whitecraigs giving the Selkirk defence a going over in the last 10 minutes the visitors finished the stronger, but Selkirk had done enough for a deserved win, and their tackling remained firm until the end.
Selkirk: F. Harkness; N. Godsmark, D. Cassidy, R. Nixon, D. Clapperton; G. Craig, M. McVie; S. Renwick, P. Mirrielees, C. Lacour, R. Aglen, A. Renwick, C. Johnston, N. Darling, C. Marshall. Subs: R. Banks, S. Forrest, R. Crockatt, M. Waldron.