Selkirk 'A' 32, Haddington 2nds 11
NOT only was Saturday's triumph over Haddington
2nds on the Burnmill pitch Selkirk A's fourth consecutive win in Division Three of the Scottish 2nd XV Leagues,
it was also the Souters' most important to date.
Up until last weekend the visitors had boasted an unbeaten 'played six, won six' record, so their defeat at the hands of Selkirk's plucky young side has well and truly opened up the promotion race at the top of the table.
Ironically it was the East Lothian team who made by far the more positive start, their aggressive, 'in your face' tactics clearly unsettling the home team. They deservedly took the lead through a try from scrum-half Struan Robertson, before a Gary Lyall penalty in the 14th minute settled Selkirk's nerves.
The tide began to turn when Fraser Harkness - making his first appearance for the A XV - was deliberately obstructed after chipping over the visitors' try line, and referee Ewan Cameron had no hesitation in awarding a penalty try. Lyall converted.
This was the signal for Selkirk's forwards to go up a gear, and soon it was the visitors who had been forced on to the back foot. Two tries from Harkness and another from lock Keith Connor put the result beyond doubt, with Gary Lyall adding a further penalty and two conversions.
Special mention goes to hooker Alan Marshall (formerly of Corstorphine Royal High), who made a promising debut after recently moving to the town with his family. Another forward to shine was flanker Neil Brown, who came on as a replacement after 23 minutes and gave an impressive, all-round display.
No less impressive was the evergreen Bruce Armstrong, who gamely pulled on the No. 9 jersey in the absence of a recognised scrum-half. It was also gratifying to see 1st XV hooker Darren Hoggan make a successful 35-minute comeback appearance, after being out of action for the past nine weeks with a thigh injury.
This Saturday Selkirk A will play a rearranged league fixture with Preston Lodge 2nds at Pennypit Park.
SELKIRK A - F. Harkness, J. Ross, G. Lyall, M. Jaffray, C. Hunter, G. Craig, B. Armstrong, G. Patterson, A. Marshall, D. Lithgow, K. Connor, G. Jeffrey, B. Hoggan, G. Hancock, S. Renwick. Replacements (all used): R. Conway G. Fairbairn, N. Brown, D. Hoggan.
Referee - E. Cameron (Jed-Forest).
NO WAY THROUGH. Selkirk wing Craig Hunter is stopped in full flight by his opposite number in Saturday's win over Haddington 2nds.
Alan Marshall - promising
debut for Selkirk A.