It was the classic game of two halves at Hughenden,
as Selkirk came from a 15 to 0 half time deficit to win the game 25 to 23 and it was also a game which finished
with not a little drama.
Because of redevelopment works at Hughenden, the game was played on a back pitch. Weather conditions were generally
dreadful with a blustery wind and heavy rain for much of the game.
Selkirk made four changes from last week with skipper Neil Darling, Scott Hendrie, Ciaran Beattie and Andrew Renwick
all absent. Selkirk welcomed back Gavin Craig at stand-off, Rory Banks switched to the wing while John Everitt
and Ryan Crockatt came into the pack.
It was 5th against 9th as the teams kicked off in what was yet another must win game for Selkirk. Hillhead played
downhill in the first half which they generally dominated through some powerful forward play. Hillhead surged to
a 15 nil half time lead with tries from winger Osugo ( 12 min) and forward Pitkethly (30 min) with Leslie adding
a penalty and a conversion. Selkirk were struggling to make an impact on the game but finished the half strongly
threatening the Hillhead line in the last five minutes of the half but without success.
It was a different game in the second half, when Selkirk, with the elements behind them, constantly threatened
the Hillhead line. Hillhead were struggling to cope with the high ball and the Selkirk forwards were in rampant
form with the back row foraging for every opportunity. This allowed the Selkirk backs to come into the game with
surging runs notably from Craig and Harkness. On 43 minutes David Cassidy converted a penalty and the first Selkirk
try came soon afterwards in the 46th minute. After forward surges by Taylor and Crockatt, the ball was moved quickly
for winger Clapperton to score. The conversion was missed but Selkirk were in the ascendancy and continued to pressurise
the Hillhead defence. On 55 minutes, after more fine work by the forwards, Gavin Craig broke through to pass to
Harkness who scored near the posts. The conversion by Cassidy was successful giving a score of 15 all. The comeback
continued but was briefly stalled by another Leslie penalty giving Hillhead an 18 to 15 lead. Selkirk scored a
third try in the 68th minute when the Craig/Harkness combination put Crockatt through . Cassidy added the conversion
and a further penalty which came in the 75th minute. With time running out, Selkirk were pushing for the bonus
point try but in the last few minutes allowed Hillhead to come back into the game when winger Leslie scored in
the corner . All depended on the conversion which would have given Hillhead the draw. The conversion was missed
but referee White ordered it to be taken again due to an alleged early charge from Selkirk. Luckily for Selkirk
the “second “conversion was equally wayward.
Selkirk remain in 5th place as Watsonians and Hamilton both won narrowly. Selkirk go to league leaders Stewarts
Melville next week for another must win game needing the teams above them to drop points if they are to make the
Selkirk team : Harkness, Banks, Cassidy, Nixon, Clapperton, Craig, McVie, Patterson, S. Forrest, Lecour, Aglen,
Everitt, Crockatt, Johnston, Marshall.
Subs used : Taylor, McDougall, Dickson, P. Forrest.
Tries : Clapperton, Harkness, Crockatt
Conversions : Cassidy 2
Penalties : Cassidy 2