Hamilton 14  Selkirk 19


Selkirk travelled to Hamilton last Saturday determined to make amends for the opening league game defeat against Biggar at Philiphaugh the previous Saturday. However, the task was never going to be easy bearing in mind that the useful Laigh Bent outfit had recorded a winning "double" against the Souters last season.
David Cassidy returned to the fray after suffering from concussion at Selkirk Sevens and the visitors found themselves playing into the breeze in the first half. The first five minutes saw both teams testing each other out and looking a bit anxious. There was a series of unforced errors before an exciting scamper up the left touch-line by Lee Jones led to Fraser Harkness threatening the Hamilton defences. The home back disrupted Selkirk scrum ball and cleared the danger. The next 10 minutes saw Hamilton enjoy the better of the exchanges, although Selkirk coped well with the pressure. Moving the ball wide at every opportunity, Selkirk looked to have the more dangerous back division and Fraser Harkness was held up over the Hamilton line after an exciting bout of passing. After 25 minutes Lee Jones was blatantly impeded in a chase to the line for a loose ball and a probable try. The referee opted not to award a penalty try much to the dismay of the travelling supporters. However, David Cassidy kicked the simplest of penalties to open the scoring. Michael McVie brought out some useful clearance kicks and the Selkirk forwards were winning some decent line out ball thanks to Rory Aglen and Eddie Gauche. Good work by Harkness and Cassidy led to the latter touching down for an excellent try and adding a fine conversion to stretch the lead to 10-0. Hamilton were rattled into action and deep into injury time in the first half they made the perfect reply with a try from a rolling maul dominated by their heavier pack. Bersanti touched down and Diffenthal brought out full points. The conversion made the score 10-7 to Selkirk and Lee Jones nearly scored a try on the stroke of the interval. An offside decision against the Hamilton defence allowed David Cassidy to stretch the Selkirk lead to 13-7 at half time.
The second half started with Selkirk the brisker of the two teams and Cassidy added to his personal tally with a well executed penalty from 40 metres. Bersanti and Gemmell tried to get Hamilton back in the game from the restart but the Selkirk fullback cleared downfield with a raking kick. The home team enjoyed a spell of pressure in Selkirk territory, but the visitors' defences held firm. Lee Jones attacked from deep and some enterprising back play led to yet another penalty being conceded. The reliable Cassidy stroked the ball between the uprights and Selkirk's lead looked comfortable at 19-7. However, Hamilton were determined to salvage something from the game and scored an excellent breakaway try through Maxton. The home team tried hard to snatch a draw but Selkirk held firm until the relief of the final whistle. This was a fine win for the Souters bearing in mind their away from home record was disappointing last season with only a solitary away win at Inverleith against Stewart's Melville.