Selkirk 52 Hillhead/Jordanhill 13


Both teams and their respective supporters observed a minute's silence prior to kick-off in memory of former Selkirk wing three-quarter, Alan Lawrie, who died recently. The club's flag flew at half mast as a mark of respect.
With wind advantage in their favour, the visitors stunned the Selkirk players with a first minute try by Jamie Howarth following a defensive lapse on the 22 metres line. The conversion attempt failed but it was a dream start for "Hills". Play continued at pace as both teams strived to gain the upper hand. The opening exchanges saw "Hills" in the ascendency and Selkirk were forced to defend vigorously. A good break by Scott Hendrie relieved the pressure, but it was not long before the Hughenden lads were back on the attack. A smartly taken drop goal by Cammy McCulloch moved "Hills" into a deserved 8-0 lead and handling errors by the Souters spoilt their attacking opportunities. Prop, Martin Murray did touch down between the posts, but referee, Cammy Rudkin blew for an offside decision. "Hills" had a penalty chance to add to their points tally but the ball drifted wide of the mark. Without a doubt, the visitors were enjoying the better of the exchanges and they were recycling the ball with better control. However, after missing a penalty with 25 minutes played, David Cassidy made amends on the half hour mark and all of a sudden the lead of 8-3 seemed a slim advantage. Two further missed penalties in rapid succession did nothing to help "Hills" cause and with half-time approaching, Selkirk fly-half, Gavin Craig, sent a raking touch kick from deep inside his own 22 to relieve the pressure. The half-time whistle signalled the end of a disappointing 40 minutes for the home team, but four kickable penalties had been squandered by "Hills" and the score line could have been much more favourable for the visitors had these chances been taken.
The half-time team talk from the Selkirk coaches must have been contained a number of expletive deletives. Whatever was said to the players, the reaction was electrifying. Ross Nixon broke clear for a try after 43 minutes and David Cassidy's conversion put the Souters into the lead for the first time in the game. Lee Jones made a nice break and touchline dash before losing control of the ball over the try line. However, the next Selkirk try came shortly thereafter when Scott Hendrie streaked through at pace for a brilliant try. "Hills" were taken aback by the transformation in the Selkirk play and full-back, Fraser Harkness almost breached the defences with a strong run and chip ahead. To be fair to the visitors, their stand-off was kicking well out of defence and they tried hard to get back in the game. Rory Aglen struck the next blow for Selkirk when he burst through a bewildered defence for a try after the "Hills" full-back failed to clear. Lee Jones secured Selkirk's first bonus point of the season when he scored Selkirk's 4th try, all converted by the accurate boot of David Cassidy. Scott Hendrie fully deserved to score his second try and Rory Aglen also stormed in for his second try of the afternoon. At this point, "Hills" were struggling to cope with the ferocity and pace of the Selkirk attacks. However, they never gave up and pluckily tried to stem the flow. Their response was a fine try down the left flank when they made full use of extra numbers. Stuart Ross ran in for "Hills" 2nd try of the afternoon, but it was too little, too late. South African, Eddie Gauche broke through to secure Selkirk's 7th try after 70 minutes and amazingly, the home team had racked up 49 points in a devastating half hour of "champagne" rugby. "Hills" fielded a relatively young side and found it hard to cope with the level of intensity that is required in Premier 2 for the full 80 minutes. David Cassidy converted all 7 tries to bring his personal points tally to 17 and the final score of 52-13 reflected Selkirk's dominance in the second half, following an average performance in the opening half. The victory moves Selkirk into joint 4th place in Premier League 2.
The Selkirk coaches, Kevin Barrie and Rodney Pow must have been satisfied with the performance in the 2nd half, but, "Oh, to have been a fly on the wall" during the half-time team talk!