Match Report by George Thomson
This was the third time this season that these
two teams had met with Kelso winning the previous two games. There was much to play for as the old Borders rivals
started the day with Selkirk leading the Premier C table from Kelso, closely behind, in second place. A blizzard
just before kick-off threatened to make things interesting. However, conditions improved and the game started in
bright sunshine but with a strong and bitterly cold wind blowing down the pitch towards the Bannerfield end.
Both sides were at virtually full strength and Selkirk were out to seek revenge for the two defeats, in particular
the shocking performance at Poynder Park in October when Kelso comfortably won 35-3. In the end, it was a solid
win for Selkirk, who scored three well taken tries in the process. Any disappointment at failing to score the bonus
point win with four tries was offset by the pleasing fact that the Souters did not concede a single try for the
second league game in succession. The defensive chores were a credit to the players and coaches.
It was a game punctuated by penalties, with Kelso's Ian Wallace feeling the wrath of the referee after only 13
minutes when he was yellow carded having been, allegedly, responsible for all of the first 3 penalties conceded
by Kelso Selkirk capitalised on the numerical advantage and scored a try immediately from a peel round the front
of the line out for Neil Darling to feed hooker Peter Mirrielees who crashed over the whitewash to score in the
corner. David Cassidy missed the tricky conversion.
Kelso had chances with Frankie Robson, Donald Seed and James Stevenson all driving for the line. Selkirk's defence
was holding up extremely well but Kelso opened their account with a penalty by Kieran Wilkinson when Selkirk went
to ground 30 metres out. He repeated with a successful kick when a Selkirk scrum collapsed about 25 metres out,
to take Kelso into a narrow 6-5 lead. This lead was, however, short lived as Selkirk took a quick penalty and drove
at Kelso and then spun the ball out to Niall Godsmark who fed winger, Callum McColm. The young winger sailed in
for a fine try in the corner. David Cassidy missed the conversion but half time arrived with Selkirk having gone
into a 10-6 lead.
Kelso had not made the most of the wind advantage in the first half and conceding a try and their narrow lead on
the stroke of half time was a real blow. Selkirk's defence had stood firm and now it was their turn to enjoy the
Cassidy, who had failed to find his range with his kicking in the first half, kicked three penalties as Kelso continued
to infringe. Even a bonus point for Kelso looked unlikely now. They rang the changes with a series of substitutions
but to no avail. This was going to be Selkirk's day and Kelso's defence was put to the test by some fine attacking
rugby. Selkirk sealed the game when Fraser Harkness made a clean break and passed on to Callum Marshall who raced
towards the posts only to be stopped short. Captain, Neil Darling, was on hand, however, to go over for the try,
which was converted by Cassidy to take Selkirk to a 26-6 lead. Ross Nixon and Harkness both came close to scoring
for the Souters and to their credit Kelso tried hard to get back into the game. The game ended in a bit of a fracas
with Selkirk going all out to secure the elusive bonus point. In all the circumstances this was a good day at the
office for the home team.