SELKIRK ended their Scottish Premier Cup campaign
with a solid victory over Pool G opponents Kelso at sunny Poynder Park on Saturday.
Both teams used the contest as a warm-up exercise for next weekend's vital Premier B & C play-off matches against
Gala and Kirkcaldy, and although each side was without several first choice players, the action on the field was
never less than highly competitive.
Clearly boosted by last Saturday's impressive victory at Aberdeen, Selkirk played with confidence and composure
against a stuffy Kelso team determined to make the Philiphaugh men battle for every scrap of possession.
Once again it was utility threequarter David Cassidy who emerged as Selkirk's hero of the hour. The full-back opened
the scoring in the 12th minute when he popped up on the blindside from a set piece move to dummy his way between
two home defenders and score close to the posts. He added the conversion, and two minutes later successfully kicked
a penalty to put the Souters 10-0 ahead.
At this point Selkirk lock Simon Willet had to retire to the sidelines with a nasty head wound (which later required
three stitches at the BGH), and 'A' XV player Scott McDonald came off the bench and gave a good account of himself
for the remainder of the match.
Kelso were given a strong lead by number eight Iain Moody, their captain, who proved a constant threat at the line-out
and whose work rate in both attack and defence was immense.
On the half-hour mark Selkirk were awarded a penalty try when Michael McVie was tackled before he had received
what would have been a scoring pass from wing Nyle Godsmark. Cassidy added the conversion, and when the halftime
whistle blew Selkirk were 17-0 ahead.
With the breeze and sun now at their backs, Kelso came more into the game after the break, but found Selkirk's
defence in uncompromising mood. The only score of the half came in the 53rd minute when Cassidy kicked his second
penalty of the afternoon, putting the result beyond doubt.
The match saw Selkirk stand-off Gavin Craig make his debut as 1st XV captain, and the Scotland Club XV threequarter
showed enough authority and clear thinking to suggest it is a role he could fill on a full-time basis for the Philiphaugh
club at some point in the future.
KELSO - G. Ponton, A. Haig, C. Renton, A. Riley, A. Haig, P. Hume, A. Tait, B. Lyburn, C. Riddell, A. Frame, F.
Young, N. loane, L. Mitchell, L. Tarry, I. Moody. Replacements: R. Glendinning, D. Cowan, I. Wallace, M. Gaskin,
SELKIRK - D. Cassidy, N. Godsmark, S. Hendrie, R. Nixon, R. Banks, G. Craig, M. McVie, R. Taylor, M. Martin, M.
Weller, R. Aglen, S. Willet, R. Crockatt, C. Johnston, C. Marshall. Replacements: D. Scott, S. Forrest, M. Murray
S. McDonald, R. Godsmark.
Referee - D. Crudge (Hawick).