Selkirk 'A' 16, Melrose Knights 13

'A' XV players leave it late, but manage to notch second successive league win



Rory Banks - steadied the ship with solid performance.




SATURDAY'S Border Farm Supplies Championship match between Selkirk 'A' and Melrose Knights at Philiphaugh was a scrappy affair, but in the end it was the home team who managed to clinch victory thanks to a late penalty by promising young stand-off Rory Banks.

However, the main talking point of the afternoon was the unfortunate injury sustained by referee Scott Robertson on the stroke of halftime - a painful ankle knock forcing the Gala whistler to be helped hobbling to the sidelines. An X-ray at the BGH later revealed the injury to be a badly sprained ankle.

For a while it looked as thought the match would have to be abandoned, but luckily Melrose referee James Dun, who had been in charge of Selkirk Youth Club's game against Langholm Colts at nearby Victoria Park (which had a 2.30pm kick-off), kindly agreed to drive over to Philiphaugh at the end of the end of match and referee the second half of the Selkirk 'A' fixture.

"I was happy to help out," James said at the finish of his second run-out, "but I was pretty tired by the end! It was fortunate the two matches hadn't kicked off at the same time, or else things would have been a lot more difficult." As it was, the game at Philiphaugh was only delayed by 10 minutes.

Selkirk struck first blood when Rory Banks landed a ninth minute penalty, but Melrose replied in kind with a successful kick from Rory Murray. The visitors took the lead in the 14th minute after Ian Dick burst down the blindside following a scrum to score near the corner. Murray's conversion put the Knights 10-3 ahead.

With both sides struggling to put meaningful phases together, largely because of handling errors, Selkirk drew level thanks to a well worked try by Neil Brown, after good support play by Andrew Millar. Banks' conversion tied the score at 10-10.

A second penalty by Rory Murray gave Melrose a 13-10 halftime lead, but two successful penalty kicks by Rory Banks in the second half secured a hard-fought victory for the home side.

Yellow cards were shown to visiting players Charlie Robson and ex-Selkirk scrum-half Graeme Thomson during the contest,

SELKIRK 'A' - N. Brown, R. Henderson, T. Swan, C. MacDougall, A. Millar, R. Banks, S. Tough, B. Reid, P. Forrest, C. Wood, C. Marshall, G. Jeffrey, S. McDonald, C. Kemp, J. Everitt. Replacements: S. Nixon, S. Renwick, C. Johnston, F. Jack, J. Graham.

Referees - S. Robertson (Gala), J. Dun (Melrose).