GHA 22, Selkirk 17

Selkirk come close to opening day upset in Glasgow


ALTHOUGH disappointed to leave Braidholm with only a bonus point after a game which looked at one stage to be within their grasp, Selkirk's young players showed enough commitment and skill to suggest a highly competitive season lies ahead.

Ultimately it was GHA's ability to take their scoring chances, and Selkirk's propensity for making errors at crucial moments, which proved the difference between the two sides. That said, there was no disguising the relief felt by home supporters when Adam McCormack ploughed over the line in the 77th minute for the decisive try.

Selkirk took an early lead through a Michael Rutherford penalty, but almost immediately fell behind after poor defensive work on the right flank allowed Calum Forrester to sprint over for the game's first try in the seventh minute.

Centre David Cassidy then limped from the field with a knee ligament injury, allowing teenage replacement Scott Hendrie to come off the bench for his Premiership debut.

A fine midfield break by Guy Blair then saw Simon Murdoch almost go over at the corner, before Denver Rumney made a typically fiery foray deep into enemy territory.

Two penalty misses by Rutherford let GHA off the hook, however, and the home team increased their lead when weak tackling allowed Nicky Barrett to touch down under the posts. Halftime came with GHA 12-3 ahead.

Selkirk made a much more positive start to the second half, and number eight Scott Jeffrey - in outstanding form throughout - made a try-saving tackle on Ross West as the centre looked to have breached the visitors' defence.

In the 50th minute Selkirk got right back into the game when an Ally Dickson break paved the way for Blair to touch down a wickedly bouncing ball under the posts. Rutherford added the conversion.

Five minutes later the visitors regained the lead in emphatic style. A clever break by Hendrie was carried on at pace by Fraser Harkness, with the move breaking down close to the GHA line. From the resultant line-out Jeffrey stole the home side's throw-in to plunge over for his side's second touchdown. Rutherford's fine conversion kick put Selkirk 17-12 ahead.

After GHA flanker John Fitzpatrick had been yellow-carded, it looked as though it would be the Philiphaugh team's day. However, despite setting up a series of attacks the visitors couldn't break GHA's extremely well organised defence, and when a Rutherford penalty dropped just short, the momentum swung back to the city side.

A turnover then allowed GHA to camp on Selkirk's try line for the final seven minutes of the match, and although defending heroically for five of these, Selkirk's weary players couldn't prevent McCormack from bulldozing over for the vital score. Dunn added the conversion, as well as an injury time penalty, to see GHA home.

This was an encouraging performance by Selkirk, whose positive, energetic display will have given coaches Brian Cassidy and Steve Scott plenty of encouragement for the challenging months ahead.

SELKIRK - F. Harkness, G. Blair, D. Cassidy, A. Dickson, S. Murdoch, M. Rutherford, C. Beattie, B. Rawcliffe, D. Hoggan, M. Murray, N. Darling, S. Renwick, A. Heatlie, D. Rumney, S. Jeffrey. Replacements: S. Hendrie, E. Robbie, M. Barnett, G. Patterson.



JENNO'S BALL. Selkirk number eight Scott Jeffrey, who had an impressive game, battles for line-out possession in Saturday's Premiership match against GHA at Braidholm.

 
 

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