Selkirk 26, Jed-Forest 12

SECOND HALF FIGHTBACK SEES SELKIRK OVERCOME JED IN HARD-FOUGHT CUP CONTEST

LEFT – Selkirk full-back Fraser Harkness powers his way upfield in Monday night’s RBS Border Regional Cup tie against Jed-Forest, with Scott Hendrie ready to lend support. Selkirk won the match 26-12. RIGHT – Openside flanker Angus Duckett was always in the thick of the action on Monday night.

SELKIRK preserved their unbeaten record in this season’s RBS Border Regional Cup competition with a hard-fought 26-12 victory over Jed-Forest at Philiphaugh on Monday night. However, they were pushed all the way by a spirited Jed team who battled hard right up to the final whistle.
Although the home side took the lead after just six minutes through a Michael McVie penalty, it was the visitors who made all the early running. Quicker to the breakdown and more aggressive in the contact area, Jed-Forest laid siege to the home try line in the opening quarter.
This pressure was rewarded in the 19th minute when Jed full-back Lewis Young finished off a slick handling movement by the visiting threequarters to sprint behind the posts for the game’s opening try. Iain Chisholm converted, having been off-target with a penalty attempt 10 minutes earlier.
Within five minutes Selkirk had cut the deficit to 7-6 from a second McVie penalty, after Ewan Scott’s kick to touch from outside the 22 had gone out on the full, giving Selkirk prime field position which they duly exploited.
On the half-hour mark it looked as though Selkirk would regain the lead, when Scott Hendrie’s break from a quick tap penalty saw Darren Clapperton’s chip to the line fly-hacked out of play by a Jed defender, with Harkness just failing to touch down the loose ball before it went dead.
Moments later Hendrie spearheaded another home attack up the right flank, but this time his off-load to Harkness was grabbed by Jed’s Lewis Young, who sprinted the length of the field to score his second try of the night and put the Royal Blues 12-6 ahead.
A third McVie penalty cut the deficit, and soon afterwards Jed’s Ewan Scott received a yellow card at a ruck just outside the visitors’ 22. With everyone expecting McVie to take a pot a goal, the Selkirk scrum-half instead took a tapped penalty to himself and raced over in the corner unchallenged for an opportunist try. To rub salt into Jed’s wounds, he landed the touchline conversion to give the home team a 16-12 halftime lead.
At the start of the second half Selkirk replaced James Bett, Cata Graur and Ewan MacDougall with Stuart Forrest, Clément Lacour and Neil Darling. It was Lacour’s first outing after a five-week injury lay-off, and the French prop quickly settled to a solid game, while Darling was also clearly happy to be back after a similar time on the sidelines.
It was now Selkirk’s turn to apply pressure - Hendrie skilfully dealing with Scott’s dangerous kick-ahead and Darling pouncing on deflected ball from a Jed line-out to maintain the home team’s momentum. Ex-skipper Darling then showed the crowd his footballing skills by dribbling the ball towards the visitors’ try line, only to see his final ‘pass’ to Hendrie evade the centre’s attempt to touch down the ball.
The breakthrough came for Selkirk when Harkness burst up the right side of the field. Quick ball from the ensuing ruck saw Callum Johnston fire out a monster pass to the left touchline, where Darren Clapperton was on hand to collect and scamper in at the corner for his 11th try of the season.
Back came Jed, and only a crunching tackle by Gavin Craig on David Gobby prevented the Jed winger from splitting the home defence wide open. Selkirk regrouped after this, and spent the final quarter of the match camped in the visitors’ half.
The point of no return for the Royal Blues came seven minutes from time when the assistant on the left touchline brought an incident to the attention of referee Cammy Rudkin. After a period of consultation, Jed full-back Lewis Young was shown a straight red card for an alleged stamp on Scott Hendrie.
In the final minutes of the match Selkirk’s excellent Kiwi forwards Angus Duckett and Matt Kissick were replaced after once again running themselves into the ground in the home team’s cause. Ewan MacDougall and Eddie Turner took their places.
Selkirk’s third and final try came deep in injury time when a Jed scrum saw the ball ricochet to MacDougall, whose pop-up pass found McVie on his inside, and the Selkirk No. 9 burrowed over for his second try of the night.
After the final whistle McVie was named Selkirk’s Four Seasons Forestry ‘Man of the Match’, having amassed 21 points during the game.
This Saturday, December 22, Selkirk will return to RBS National League action when Hillhead-Jordanhill visit Philiphaugh (kick-off 3pm).

SELKIRK: F. Harkness, R. Banks, S. Hendrie, R. Nixon, D. Clapperton, G. Craig, M. McVie, S. Renwick, J. Bett, C. Graur, A. Renwick, M. Kissick, C. Johnston, A. Duckett, E. MacDougall. Reps: A. Given, S. Forrest, C. Lacour, E. Turner, N. Darling.

JED-FOREST: L. Young, G. Young, I. Chisholm, R. Hogg, D. Gobby, E. Scott, N. Fono-Hunt, G. Slorance, D. Grieve, A. Frame, G. Elder, N. Cook, M. Weekley, J. Sudlow, D. Grieve. Replacements: A. Ions, S. Raeburn, G. Young, R. Miller, J. Szkudro, C. Gillon.

Referee – Cammy Rudkin (Hawick).