SELKIRK captain Neil Darling steered Selkirk to
a memorable win on Monday at Philiphaugh. Darling, who was out of action for six weeks after a head knock, praised
all his players for their efforts and particularly in defence in the second half. "We were superb," he
said. "It was a fabulous day as we were playing the top club in Scotland. We asked for a big performance and
we got it.
"There were times when we were under pressure, but the forwards set up an excellent platform. The win shows
that we have competition for place and that is good for the club."Several young players emerged for the future…
hooker James Bett along with Brendan Reid and Scott McDonald. It was a pity nothing was at stake except pride and
prestige. Melrose skipper Graeme Dodds admitted: "The coaches put a lot of work into this game even although
there was nothing at stake, we need to get our confidence back.
"We need to win that league game (on January 14) and know the importance of the first match after the break.
But all credit to Selkirk. They have a lot of young-and-up coming players and should back where they belong (in
Selkirk played their best rugby of the season despite being forced to defend magnificently for long spells in the
second half. They kept their line intact until Bruce Dick scored with nine minutes left, but it was too late as
Melrose suffered its third defeat in a row. Selkirk stormed into an early lead in after a poor clearance from Andrew
Skeen released Gavin Craig, and when the ball was recycled, Fraser Harkness scythed his through the defence to
score and Michael McVie converted.
Melrose replaced the injured Peter Eccles by Ross Ovens as they kept the pressure on a blanket Selkirk defence.
When Melrose were penalised at the ruck, McVie kicked Selkirk 10-0 ahead.
The Melrose's troubles increased when Fraser Thomson had to leave the field to be replaced by Cammie Murray. But
they were not to be denied as Skeen banged over a penalty.
Melrose stepped up a gear with intense pressure before the break, but the Selkirk defence stood firm for the club
to lead 10-3 at the interval.
Melrose had the wind in the second half and were soon encamped on the Selkirk line until McVie cleared the danger
and the scrum half then kicked his third penalty.
Melrose pressure was rewarded when the ball was swung wide for Dick to cross, but not enough to save the game.So
there were lots of celebrations at the end…and shock when the final score arrived from Netherdale…a result that
makes a mockery of the Border League.
Selkirk: F. Harkness, C. McColm, S. Hendrie, N.
Godsmark, D. Clapperton; G. Craig, M. McVie; S. Renwick, James Bett, C. Lancour, R. Aglen, A. Renwick, N. Darling,
R. Godsmark E. Macdougall. Replacements: R. Banks, B. Reid, G. Patterson, S. McDonald.
Melrose: F. Thomson; A. Dodds, J. Helps, B. Dick,
C. Hardie; A. Skeen, S. McCormick; N. Little, R. Ferguson, P. G. Holburn, S. Johnston, P. Eccles, G. Dodds, G.
Runciman, R. Millar. Replacements: P. Tamba, C. Keen, R. Ovens, B. Colvine, C. Murray.