Selkirk 9 Musselburgh 8 (Sat. Nov. 24th)



Selkirk kicked off into a bitterly cold wind and against such elements the first half was always going to be one of containment for the Souters. There was little excitement to warm the spectators in the first 10 minutes as both teams produced scrappy play. It was Musselburgh who edged into the lead from a Wells penalty following handling in a ruck. However, it only took Selkirk 4 minutes to draw level when David Cassidy slotted a penalty award. Mid-way through the half, Selkirk scrum half, Michael McVie suffered a bad cut above the eye and Lee Jones moved from left wing to allow Jason Hendrie into the fray as replacement. Musselburgh were having the better of the exchanges but the Selkirk defence was holding out well. Gavin Craig combined with Rory Aglen in a rare Selkirk attack, but the chance was lost when Aglen was penalised for not releasing. Wells punted deep to touch and although the homesters stole the lineout, 'Burgh won a scrum and an offside penalty. This was swiftly taken and four or five big men drove for the line. Captain Grant Talac was the last to rise with ball in hand and although the conversion failed, Musselburgh had taken a deserved 8-3 lead on the half hour mark. Play was even for much of the next 10 minutes and Selkirk did well to turn around with only a five point deficit.
David Cassidy kicked a fine penalty early in the second half and the home supporters must have expected rich pickings on the table with the strong wind now behind their team. However, the Selkirk backs were struggling to get over the gain line against a solid Musselburgh defence. The 'Burgh pack was happy to frustrate their Selkirk counterparts with a series of repeated pick-ups and drives to slow the game down. Although it made for poor spectating the tactics were proving to be effective for the Musselburgh cause. The few attacking opportunities for Selkirk were snuffed out and it looked as though 'Burgh were going to hold out for victory. It was approaching injury time when a penalty for not binding saw the visitors tap and rumble. Following a chat with his touch judge the referee Colin Brett penalised the 'Burgh No 8 for throwing a punch. Cassidy, as cool as ever, split the posts from nearly the touchline to signal Selkirk's "get out of jail card". A late surge saw the visitor's camped in the Selkirk 22 but a relieving penalty signalled the full time whistle. Selkirk did not at any time impose themselves in the game and this was the first time in the campaign that they have failed to reach double figures or scored a try. However, they scored one point more than the visitors and retain third spot in Premier 2.