Edinburgh Accies 31, Selkirk 22

Sin-binning as Souters leave empty-handed



George Thomson reports

SELKIRK locked horns with Edinburgh Accies on the opening Saturday in the play-offs where the seven games league format will determine which four clubs play Premier One rugby next season.
Accies went into the game full of confidence, having won 10 of their 11 Premier Two fixtures. Conversely, Selkirk had only a solitary win from their 11 Premier One matches.
The Souters made a bright start and a long-range David Cassidy penalty after five minutes edged Selkirk into a narrow lead.
However, the home team were soon on the attack with forwards and backs combining well. Selkirk's defences were put to the test and the pressure eventually took its toll. Accies decision to run a tap penalty close to the line paid dividends as captain Dan Teague ploughed over for the opening try, converted by fly half Bonner. Selkirk were guilty of giving away possession on numerous occasions when in attack and Accies countered effectively with powerful drives from their forwards leading to try number two from prop McSorley. Bonner again brought out full points with a relatively straightforward conversion.
Cassidy nailed another penalty after 20 minutes to keep the Souters in touch at 14-6. Scott Hendrie and Darren
Clapperton combined well with exciting runs to take play deep into the Accies 22 and the visitors were enjoying a decent spell - although they were giving away the ball too readily in contact.
On the half-hour mark Accies, who were playing into the elements, came roaring back and hooker Linesss barged his way over for their third try. Bonner stroked over the conversion and despite another Cassidy penalty, Selkirk were truthfully second best as half time arrived with Accies 21-9 ahead.
An injury to Hendrie did not help Selkirk's cause, although it was good to see Gavin Craig back into action from the bench after his knee operation.
The second half started in great fashion for Selkirk as captain Fraser Harkness powered his way over for a well executed try. Cassidy's conversion attempt just shaved the outside of the upright.
However, Selkirk were very much back in the game and a pulsating attack involving Ryan Godsmark, Neil Darling and Jock Renwick almost resulted in another touchdown. To be fair, the Accies defence was proving to be up to the task. With the game entering the final quarter, Harkness demonstrated his class by scoring another blistering try in the corner. Cassidy's conversion attempt into the breeze looked on target, but dropped agonisingly short just under the bar. Bonner and Cassidy swapped penalties to keep the game poised for an exciting last 10 minutes at 24-22 in Accies' favour.
Unfortunately for Selkirk, the decisive turning point came with Craig's sin-binning. Close to full time, scrum-half Adams wriggled through to score his side's fourth try and the home support were celebrating a bonus point win. Bonner's conversion denied Selkirk a losing bonus point and the Souters will simply have to bounce back versus Stirling County at Philiphaugh this Saturday.
It is interesting to note that all victories went to "home" teams and three Premier Two teams defeated Premier One opposition.