Annan 6, Selkirk 19

Selkirk kept in check by stuffy Annan side

DESPITE coming away from their visit to Dumfries & Galloway with a win, Selkirk made heavy weather of Saturday's BT Cup third round tie against Annan. The red card shown to flanker Ryan Crockatt seven minutes into the second half for alleged illegal use of the boot hardly helped the visitors' cause, but by then Selkirk should have had the game well and truly sewn up.
The Philiphaugh side took a 14-0 lead within the first 10 minutes of the match, but instead of inspiring the team to greater heights, this early advantage seemed to have an inhibiting effect, with the forwards in particular struggling to keep up the momentum. All of which meant the game became gridlocked for long periods, with the Annan and Selkirk defences cancelling each other out - so much so that not a single point was scored by either side in the second half of the match. Lock Neil Darling appeared the one Selkirk forward capable of making things happen, and the Lilliesleaf joiner showed true grit when the going began to get tough up front. Once again it was Selkirk's Kiwi wing Simon Murdoch who proved the Souters' most potent weapon, scoring a brace of tries to take his personal tally to six in just five appearances for the 1st XV. His first score came after four minutes when Alistair Lyall (another Selkirk player who had a productive afternoon) made ground up the middle following a line-out. The move was carried on by number eight Alister Heatlie, and Murdoch was up in support to take the ball and sprint over. Michael Rutherford added the conversion.
The second Murdoch try once again had its origins in a Lyall break, only this time the New Zealander race home from 45 metres, beating a couple of defenders on the way. Sandwiched between these two scores was a try from skipper Guy Blair. Finding himself in acres of space thanks to a perfectly judged long pass from Rutherford, the full-back needed no second invitation to cross for his first try of the season. Rutherford again converted.
After this initial points-scoring flurry the visitors allowed Annan back into the game, with former Selkirk skipper Paul Minto coming off the replacements' bench to show the Philiphaugh supporters he has lost none of his fire, despite his veteran status. Annan's points came from two Scott McCann penalties.
Full-time arrived without the scoreboard boys being troubled further, and Selkirk's players trooped off the Violet Bank pitch knowing that they hadn't really woken up and smelt the roses.

SELKIRK - G. Blair, S. Murdoch, D. Cassidy, A. Lyall, C. Hunter, M. Rutherford, M. McVie, G. Ruthven, I. Walling 39, M. Murray, M. Barnett, N. Darling, R. Crockatt, S. Jeffrey, A. Heatlie. Replacements (all used): E. Robbie, S. McColm, S. Tomlinson, K. Connor.

Left - Scott tomlinson congratulates Ex Selkirk player Paul Minto on his sides Gutsy performance at the end on a good tussle