Preston Lodge 2nds 35, Selkirk 'A' 12

Lodge derail Selkirk 'A' bandwagon

FOLLOWING a run of four straight victories in Division Three of the Scottish 2nd XV Leagues, Selkirk 'A' were brought down to earth by a powerful Preston Lodge team at Pennypit Park on Saturday.

Out-muscled up front by the home team's experienced eight, Selkirk's forwards found themselves on the back foot for long spells of the match, with all five of Preston Lodge's tries coming through the pack. The visitors found it particularly difficult to counter PL's rolling mauls, while fitness also became a factor as the home team kept up the pressure throughout the full 80 minutes.

When Selkirk's backs did manage to get the ball, however, they made good use of it, with Bruce Armstrong and Greg Fairbairn scoring well-worked tries in the second half, one of which was converted by Gary Lyall.

Things looked ominous for Selkirk as early as the fifth minute, when the recurrence of a knee injury forced hooker Alan Marshall to limp from the field. This necessitated a switch from the back row to the front row for Darren Hoggan, and the senior player's continuing recovery from a troublesome thigh strain proved a plus-mark for the Philiphaugh side.

Another positive aspect of Saturday's encounter was the polished display of flanker Greg Hancock, who worked tirelessly to try and spark a revival on limited possession. Meanwhile stand-off Gavin Craig turned in another solid performance, his creative breaks in attack being worthy of better support.

Selkirk's players must now knuckle down to some hard work at this week's training, if they hope to hit the winning trail against Dunfermline 2nds on Saturday.

SELKIRK A - B. Armstrong, J. Ross, G. Lyall, M. Jaffray, G. Fairbairn, G. Craig, F. Jack, G. Patterson, A. Marshall, D. Lithgow, G. Jeffrey, B. Hoggan, G. Hancock, D. Hoggan, D. Gray. Replacements (all used): R. Conway, D. Hendrie, N. Brown, M. Rodgerson.

Referee - E. Cameron (Jed-Forest).