Jed-Forest 2nds 0, Selkirk 'A' 19

Second half surge sets up impressive league victory for Selkirk 'A'

THEY SHALL NOT PASS. Selkirk flanker David Gray puts the brake on his opposite number in Monday night's league game at Riverside Park. Team-mates Ryan Crockatt, David Purves, Simon Willet, Andrew Renwick and Michael Rutherford await developments.

AFTER a run of three consecutive defeats, Selkirk 'A' got their Border Farmfeeds Border Championship campaign back on track at Riverside Park on Monday night, with a hard-fought victory over a feisty Jed-Forest 2nds side.

The game was played at a frenetic pace, with both teams running the ball at every opportunity. It therefore came as something of a surprise when the halftime interval arrived without a point having been scored by either team.

For Jed, Greg Nagle was just off-target with a penalty attempt in the 10th minute, while on the half-hour mark Selkirk's Rob Taylor was just beaten to the touchdown when chasing Ross Nixon's clever chip over the home try line.

The bigger and more aggressive Jed pack posed problems for the visitors throughout the first half, winning two strikes against the head and regularly stealing line-out ball. The visitors didn't help their own cause by giving away a string of penalties, and just before the interval Selkirk lost the services of Andrew Millar after the wing-forward suffered a neck injury.

Selkirk looked a different team in the second half, an on the 50-minute mark Ross Nixon broke the deadlock with an excellent try. Number eight Ryan Crockatt forced a Jed-Forest turnover, and Andrew Renwick was up in support to carry on the move. The ball was switched left to Ross Armstrong, with Michael Rutherford then jinking inside the cover to release Nixon, who sprinted over for a fine score. Rutherford converted.

Ten minutes later the visitors went further ahead after skipper Alistair Lyall had broken out from his own 22. Rob Taylor was on hand to feed the ball out to front row colleague Alan McDowall, who made a spectacular 50-metre dash up the left flank. Although unable to beat the Jed cover, moments later Andrew Renwick dribbled a spilled ball over the home line and touched down for an opportunist try. Rutherford again converted to put Selkirk 14-0 ahead.

The result was put beyond doubt 10 minutes from time, when Scott McDonald grabbed a misdirected line-out throw by Jed and, from 15 metres out, barged his way over for a try in the left-hand corner. Jed almost grabbed a consolation score when Jamie McCraw made a sizzling break, but the centre was pulled down just short of the visitors' try line.

After the match Selkirk coach John Rutherford said he had been heartened by Selkirk's strong second half finish. "The players showed a lot of commitment tonight, and didn't panic when things didn't go according to plan. I thought our defence was excellent, but all credit must go to Jed for battling right to the end. It was a very hard contest, and exactly what our boys needed after being without a game for the past fortnight."

SELKIRK - R. Nixon, J. Ross, A. Lyall, C. MacDougall, J. Hendrie, M. Rutherford, S. Tough, R. Price, S. Rodgerson, A. McDowall, A. Renwick, S. McDonald, A. Millar, D. Gray, R. Crockatt. Replacements: D. Purves, R. Taylor, S. Willet, R. Armstrong, B. Purves, D. Scott, C. Davies.

Referee - I. Dunlop (Dumfries).

TREBLE TOPS. Selkirk A's try scorers celebrate Monday night's success at Riverside Park. From left: Andrew Renwick, Ross Nixon and Scott McDonald. (Pictures - Grant Kinghorn)