Haddington 7 Selkirk 9 (Sat. Dec. 15th)
Selkirk were the visitors to Neilson Park on Saturday hoping to keep alive their chances of promotion whilst Haddington were looking to consolidate their position in the top half of the league.
The match was only 3 minutes old when Selkirk were awarded their first penalty allowing centre David Cassidy to happily stroke the ball through the uprights to put his side 3 - 0 ahead. Haddington came straight back at Selkirk and threatened the Selkirk line on several occasions with home centre Callum Mark to the fore. The Scarlets looked dominant for long periods in the first half with the scrum really troubling their Border counterparts and it was no surprise when the referee awarded a penalty try after Selkirk's illegal tactics trying to stop the pushover try. The conversion from Brock Gibbon under the posts gave the Scarlets a deserved 7 - 3 lead.
Callum Mark, Neil Watt and Brock Gibbon all threatened with ball in hand going forward, whilst the back-row of Morrison, Maybury and Bowie were working well as a unit both in defence and attack. Selkirk tried to keep the ball alive as much as possible with full back, Harkness, in particular, always looking to capitalise on any poor kicks that came his way.
After having been on the back foot for much of the first 20 minutes, Selkirk managed to catch Haddington offside in the backs and Cassidy wasted no time in knocking over another penalty to trail by only 1 point at 7 - 6. It stayed that way for the remainder of the half with Cassidy unlucky not to add another penalty just before the interval.
Half-Time 7 - 6.
Haddington started the second half well and had Selkirk on the ropes when their prop was shown the yellow card for persistent infringing at the rucks. The Scarlets, however, couldn't take advantage of the extra man as Selkirk showed a steely determination by closing ranks and instead taking the game to Haddington. Individual errors and poor decision-making crept in the home teams' ranks in a scrappy second half allowing Selkirk to begin dominating in open play with Harkness and Cassidy always posing a threat.
Sam Johnston and Neil Watt both had to make crucial tackles as Selkirk upped the pace looking for the vital score which their play merited and with 7 minutes remaining they got their noses in front at 9 - 7 with another penalty after Haddington were caught in possession. Selkirk know how to grind out wins and once they had taken the lead they knew how to hold onto it and Haddington had no answer as the minutes ticked away.
Full-Time 9 - 7.