SELKIRK 23 BIGGAR 22

 

 

 

 

After early Saturday morning rain, Philiphaugh was drenched in late summer sunshine for the visit of Biggar. Selkirk got off to a rip roaring start when prop Clement Lecour carried the ball and fed Fraser Harkness who burst through to the try line beating two men in the process. David Cassidy brought out full points and Biggar found themselves 7 points in arrears with only a couple of minutes played. Facing a stiff breeze and dazzling sun, the Souters welcomed back their experienced half backs Gavin Craig and Michael McVie for their first league appearances of the season. It did not take long for them to mark their return with a slick combination that led to a scintillating try. Fly half Craig left the opposition bewildered with a classic break and McVie timed an angled run to perfection to run in unopposed for try number two. Cassidy's conversion stretched Selkirk's lead to 14-0 with only 10 minutes played. Selkirk had made a dream start and seemed to be firing on full cylinders. To their credit, Biggar regrouped after these early setbacks and they were rewarded for attacking play when Conor Lavery, recently returned from New Zealand, crossed over for a fine try which Craig Parker converted. Selkirk were on the ascendency and confident enough to spurn two kickable penalty opportunities by opting to kick to the corner. However, sloppy play enabled Biggar to repel the danger and much of the next 10 minutes saw both teams cancelling each other out in attack and defence. On the half hour mark Biggar chose to tap and run a free kick and Parker neatly dropped a goal to bring the Hartreemill side right back into the mix. Parker showed excellent pace to edge Biggar in front with a well taken try after a weaving run. A loose kick from defence by Harkness had allowed the visitors to gather possession and punish the Souters. Parker's conversion was successful and Selkirk's welfare was not helped by a sin-binning for skipper Neil Darling with the interval approaching. Biggar took full advantage when centre Cameron Thomson added an unconverted try on the stroke of half -time. The visitors had stunned Selkirk with 22 points in 25 minutes. With the elements now in their favour Selkirk started to claw their way back into the game. A string of successful penalties by the dependable David Cassidy saw the home team grab a narrow lead but Biggar were still having the better of play and territorial advantage. Selkirk were struggling to gain meaningful possession and therefore unable to put pressure on the Biggar defence. Thomson was shown yellow with 15 minutes remaining and that certainly took some of the steam out of Biggar's challenge. With fully 80 minutes gone a timely drop-goal charge down by Selkirk's Calum Johnston probably saved the day for the home team. This performance was not one of Selkirk's best but they showed that if you have to win ugly then they can win ugly!