Selkirk 32 Hamilton 29 (Sat. Nov. 17th)



Selkirk kicked off with a strong wind advantage in their favour and were stunned by one of the fastest tries seen this season. Barely 30 seconds were on the clock when Hamilton's South African stand-off, Ronald Strydom broke clean through a huge mid-field gap and linked with former Stirling County centre, Craig Sangster who touched down under the posts, giving Strydom the easiest of conversions.
Selkirk's reply was swift when full-back Fraser Harkness off-loaded a smart pass to winger Scott Hendrie who raced over for a try. David Cassidy converted to cancel out Hamilton's early lead. Both teams were playing flowing rugby and the Souters edged into the lead when Harkness broke through two despairing tackles to score between the posts. His angles of running were causing all sorts of problems to the visitors. Cassidy easily converted and after a short spell of Hamilton pressure the nimble Selkirk backs swept up field on the attack. Harkness took a quick tap penalty and his alertness led to a try by stand-off Gavin Craig, who stretched to the try line for Selkirk's third touchdown. With Cassidy's safe boot taking care of the conversion it looked as though Selkirk would secure a bonus point for scoring 4 tries before half-time. Indeed, Lee Jones looked to have done just that, but referee Cammy Rudkin penalised him for a double movement. A couple of Cassidy penalties stretched the lead to 27-7 with half-time approaching. However, Hamilton had other ideas and Strydom scored a smart try to bring the score to 27-10.
With the elements now in their favour, Hamilton went on the attack and Selkirk had to defend stoutly as the visitors chased the game. The heavy Hamilton pack, with Australian prop James Medlock well to the fore, was putting Selkirk under pressure at the scrums and the Souters were struggling to secure decent line-out ball. Kiwi back-row forward, Bengy Barsanti was proving to be a tricky customer and Hamilton looked as though they were bound to score when they found extra numbers on the left flank. Somehow, in a flash, Scott Hendrie gathered a spilled ball and fed Harkness who booted ahead to win the chase to the try line. It was a cracking try in every sense of the word and a score that secured a try bonus point for the Souters. Cassidy converted and the game looked out of sight at 32-10 for the home team.
Hamilton came to life in an inspired period of play during the final 15 minutes. Craig Sangster added his second try of the afternoon and second-row Matt Gray crashed over for Hamilton's third try. Strydom's conversion brought the score to 32-24 with time running out. A huge last minute effort by the Hamilton pack saw them pick up a try bonus point when No 8 David Gemmell smashed his way over to score. It was a case of too little, too late, for the Laigh Bent side, but the Selkirk coaches will have a lot to say to their charges at training this week.