Haddington 2nds 5, Selkirk 2nds 44
Selkirk in 'mint' condition after eight tries at Haddington!
AFTER weathering the home team's early onslaught at wind-swept Haddington on Saturday, Selkirk turned the tables on their hosts by running in eight tries to maintain their frontrunner status in the Roadhead Farm Feeds Border Championship.
Aussie fly-half Ian McConnel proved the catalyst of the visitors' resurgence, scoring a hat-trick of first half tries in double-quick time. The first followed Jim Ross' inside break, the second came from Scott Tomlinson's quickly taken tap penalty, while the third had its origins in an electrifying run by Craig Hunter.
McConnel's fellow Queenslander, Ben Cooper, added one conversion, giving the visitors a deserved 17-0 halftime lead.
With the visitors' pack now firing on all cylinders, tries came at regular intervals through Hunter (2), the indefatigable Andrew Millar (2) and Jimmy Stephens - the latter coming after debutant Chris Fairbairn took a clean catch before passing the ball to his brother Greg, who in turn sent Stephens sprinting upfield on a 35-metre dash to the try line.
McConnel added one conversion, while Haddington scored a consolation try in the dying minutes of the match.
In what was a satisfying, all-round team effort, a fit-again Neil Brown showed up well in the visitors' back row, where number eight David Gray made a typically dynamic return to action after missing all of Selkirk's games to date because of work commitments.
No less influential was Craig Hunter, back to his elusive best in the centre, while evergreen full-back Bruce Armstrong continued to defy the years with a display of vintage attacking and support play.
Selkirk will need to continue this rich vein of form into Friday night's match at Philiphaugh against unbeaten Hawick 2nds (7pm kick-off). It promises to be quite a contest.
SELKIRK - B. Armstrong, S. Jack, C. Hunter, M. Jaffray, B. Cooper, I. McConnel, S. Tomlinson,
R. Price, A. Marshall, J. Stephens, J. Ross, M. Rodgerson, N. Brown, A. Millar, D. Gray. Replacements: K. Lamont,
G. Warnock, T. Walling, G. Fairbairn, C. Fairbairn.
Craig Hunter - two tries
in five-star display.