Livingston 5, Selkirk 52

No stopping slick Selkirk in impressive cup triumph at Livingston

ROBBO ON A ROLL! Selkirk lock Rob Taylor races clear to score a try in Saturday's cup victory over Livingston at Almond Park. Looking on are team-mates Steven Renwick and Neil Darling. [Picture: Grant Kinghorn]

ANY hopes Livingston might have harboured of an upset in Saturday's Scottish Hydro Electric Cup fifth round tie were quickly snuffed out by an on-song Selkirk team, who notched eight tries in a power-packed display.
Bright sunshine and Almond Park's firm playing surface combined to create perfect conditions for the visitors' trademark brand of running rugby, and the game's final two touchdowns by Fraser Harkness and Michael McVie must rank amongst the most exhilarating scores seen this season.
Selkirk openside Callum Johnston set the tone for the afternoon by collaring home fly-half Bruton in the first minute of the match, immediately putting Livingston on the back foot. A penalty then allowed David Cassidy to kick to the home side's five-metre line.
Rory Aglen's two-handed take at the subsequent line-out saw the ball quickly switched to Neil Darling, before the Selkirk pack's controlled maul resulted in props Gordon Patterson and Martin Murray being driven over the line for the visitors' opening try (the referee crediting Murray with the score). Cassidy's conversion sailed over from the touchline.
Bruton then missed a penalty chance for Livingston, while a similar effort by Cassidy rebounded off the right-hand post. Soon afterwards Gavin Craig made a scintillating break from near half-field to scorch under the posts for a fine solo try - much to the delight of his father Mick, guesting as touch-judge for the day.
Selkirk suffered a blow in the 24th minute when No. 8 Alister Heatlie limped off with a leg injury, which saw replacement Steven Renwick move to the second row and lock Rory Aglen switch to the flank.
Another Bruton penalty miss allowed the visitors to clear their lines, and on the half-hour mark slick inter-passing between Darling and Alan McDowall resulted in wing Craig Hunter scampering down the left touchline to score Selkirk's third try.
Two minutes later another strong run by McDowall gained ground up the middle, with scrum-half Lee Jones then putting Callum Johnston into space. The young flanker cleverly jinked past two men, before drawing the final defender and slipping a scoring pass to Rob Taylor, who needed no second invitation to burst clear and score under the posts. Cassidy's conversion gave Selkirk a 26-0 interval lead.
Playing against the breeze in the second half, the visitors wasted no time in carrying on where they'd left off. A surge by prop Gordon Patterson was carried on by Darling and Taylor, before David Cassidy took the ball at speed and transferred to Guy Blair, who raced over near the corner for a try, converted by Cassidy.
Solid defensive work by Martin Murray prevented Livingston from getting a toehold close to Selkirk's try line, and shortly afterwards Taylor's quickly taken tap penalty was moved wide by Michael Jaffray. The move ended with Hunter pinning his ears back and streaking home from 40 metres for his second try.
To their credit Livingston refused to buckle, and a sustained spell of pressure was rewarded when replacement Jamie King raced clear down the grandstand touchline to score his side's only try of the afternoon.
Selkirk finished the contest in style with two cracking touchdowns. The first, by Michael McVie, was created by crisp handling and well-timed angled runs by Ewen Robbie, skipper Darren Hoggan, Fraser Harkness and Neil Darling.
The second try was vintage Harkness. The full-back received the ball outside Livingston's '22', and proceeded to weave his way past a clutch of five defenders, before taking a further two on his back over the try line for a great individual score. Cassidy converted both tries to take his personal points tally for the season to 135.
A hugely satisfying day for Selkirk's players and supporters ended with Selkirk sevens convener, Bert Duffy, presenting a centenary plaque to Livingston president Andy Thorn in the clubhouse after the game.

SELKIRK - F. Harkness, C. Hunter, D. Cassidy, M. Jaffray, G. Blair, G. Craig, L. Jones, G. Patterson, D. Hoggan, M. Murray, R. Taylor, R. Aglen, N. Darling, C. Johnston, A. Heatlie. Replacements - M. McVie, S. Renwick, A. McDowall, E. Robbie.