PEEBLES 3 SELKIRK 31

 

 

Photos thanks to Ian Linton

Prop Peter Mirrielees has been in the country for barely two weeks but has probably already written himself into the Selkirk record books.A four try haul by the Kiwi prop and Peebles were sunk 31 to 3. Mirrielees demonstrated that grit and guile so typical of New Zealand forwards and he combined this on Saturday with an instinct to be in the right place at the right time to turn opportunities into points. This is not to give the impression that Saturday's game was a one man show. Peter provided the icing on the cake in what was a much improved team performance by Selkirk in defence and attack. Each of the Mirrielees tries was founded on solid team work.David Cassidy also had a good day with the boot contributing a penalty and four conversions.
The last time Selkirk played in Peebles, it was the Border League final, the opponents were Melrose and the ground was full.The build up to Saturday was quite different. Selkirk had lost both of their previous games and on each occasion failed to score a try.Peebles were on a run of six losses. Both teams had little or no chance of progressing in the RBS Cup and were playing mainly for the pride of winning a Border derby.
Selkirk welcomed back Fraser Harkness to the full back position, David Cassidy reverted to centre and Scott Hendrie moved to the wing. Rory Aglen and Ryan Crockatt were injured, replaced in the pack by Calum Marshall and Ewan MacDougall.
It was damp and dismal and conditions were heavy underfoot. Despite this,both teams tried to run the ball at every occasion. In the first half, Peebles had the bulk of possession but failed to turn this into points as the Selkirk defence stood firm. In fact it was Selkirk who led at the break by 10 to 3. In the seventh minute David Cassidy converted a penalty from near the 10metre line. On the thirtieth minute, Selkirk fans saw their first try in over 3 hours of play. A lineout steal close to the Peebles line led to a Selkirk maul which was driven over for Mirrielees to pop out and score. David Cassidy landed a difficult conversion from wide out.
Three minutes later,try hero Mirrielees was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle and Selkirk were reduced to 14 men. Peebles scored their only points of the game from the resultant penalty , kicked by Greig Raeburn.
The second half was a different affair with Selkirk coming more and more into the game with some outstanding teamwork given the conditions.The Selkirk forwards providing a firm foundation and halfbacks McVie and Craig started to control the game. Lecour, Mirrielees, Johnston and Renwick were to the fore as the Selkirk
pack drove forward. Selkirk's second try came in the 47th minute. The Souters were awarded a free kick in the Peebles 22, Mirrielees then Lecour drove for the line for the ball to return to Mirrielees to score near the posts. The ever reliable David Cassidy provided the extra 2 points and Selkirk led 17 to 3. A further Selkirk try followed in the 60th minute. After a passage of Selkirk pressure, Gavin Craig broke through into the Peebles 22 to give Peter Mirrielees the subtlest of passes for the prop to 'sprint' in under the posts. David Cassidy added the conversion to make the score 24 to 3. Selkirk were now chasing their fourth try. This almost came about when a good run from a deep position by Clapperton resulted in Scott Hendrie being stopped close to the Peebles line. It was only a matter of time before the fourth try arrived. The Selkirk forward pressure by this stage was relentless and continued despite a late yellow card for scrum half McVie. From a defensive scrum in the Peebles 22, Callum Johnston charged the ball down. A Peebles back then fumbled the ball behind his own line and that man Mirrielees pounced again
to score. David Cassidy converted to give Selkirk a convincing 31 to 3 victory.

Selkirk came away from Peebles with a well earned victory and a much improved team performance. Particularly encouraging for the future was the performance of the youngsters such as MacDougall and Bett. Selkirk will be hoping for a similar result when the teams meet again on March 24th 2012.
This will be the last day of the league season when the stakes will be much higher for both clubs.

Selkirk team : F Harkness, S Hendrie, D Cassidy, A Lyall, D Clapperton, G Craig, M McVie
P Mirrielees, S Forrest, C Lecour, A Renwick, J Everitt, C Marshall, C Johnston, E MacDougall

Replacements : N Godsmark, S Renwick, J Bett, S McDonald

Tries Mirrielees 4
Conversions Cassidy 4
Penalties Cassidy 1
Yellow Cards Mirrielees, McVie