Selkirk ‘A’ 34, Hawick Linden 0


LEFT – Scrum-half Mikey Davies sets his back line in motion during Saturday’s 34-0 win over Hawick Linden, watched by team-mates Ross Purves and Craig Elliot. RIGHT – Lock forward Alan Lambie on the charge.

LEFT – Double try-scorer Callum McEwan launches another attack for Selkirk. RIGHT – Prop-forward Bruce Riddell finds his progress halted by a Hawick Linden defender. [Photos: GRANT KINGHORN]

A RARE let-up in the atrocious weather conditions allowed Saturday’s friendly between Selkirk ‘A’ and Hawick Linden to go ahead under the Philiphaugh floodlights. Both teams contributed to an entertaining, hard-fought match, with the Souters eventually holding too much firepower for the young visitors.

The cause of the RBS East League 1 side wasn’t helped by a string of injuries to key players. At one stage in proceedings Linden were reduced to 13 men, ultimately leading to the introduction of uncontested scrums for the final 20 minutes of the game.

Selkirk opened their account with a try from skipper Craig MacDougall in the eighth minute, following a pass down the blind side from Mikey Davies, after Matt Robertson had made the initial breakthrough to stretch Linden’s defence.

The visitors were given a strong lead throughout by 19-year-old skipper Sean Fairbairn, a useful number eight, and a spell of pressure inside Selkirk’s ‘22’ was only relieved when the home pack forced a turnover. The ball was moved to wing Callum McEwan, one of Selkirk’s top performers on the day, whose 40-metre burst upfield proved a taste of things to come.

The home team increased their lead when prop Craig Elliot crashed over for a try in the left-hand corner (his first for the club) following another piece of good lead-up- work by Matt Robertson.

Back came Linden, and only a fine tackle by Sean Nixon on full-back Greig Thomson prevented a score by the visitors after a combined drive by forwards and backs up the stand side of the pitch. Minutes later the Hawick team lost the services of flanker Graham Blacklock, who sustained a hand injury when making a tackle.

Just before the interval Selkirk scored their third try through the mercurial Callum McEwan following quick line-out ball, making the halftime score Selkirk ‘A’ 15, Hawick Linden 0.

In the second half the visitors’ injury woes continued, with the front row of Jordan White, Bradley Mercer and Ryan Beattie all having to leave the field at some point of the proceedings after picking up knocks.

Another try by Craig MacDougall in the 49th minute was quickly followed by an Eddie Turner try after a quickly taken tap penalty by Davies, the latter score being converted by Rory Banks, giving Selkirk a commanding 27-0 lead.

To their credit the embattled Linden players never let their heads drop, but couldn’t prevent Selkirk notching their sixth and final score of the afternoon when Callum McEwan neatly sidestepped two defenders to pick up his second try, Banks adding the conversion.

Scrum-half Mikey Davies was later named Selkirk’s ‘man of the match’ by the home coaches.

SELKIRK – L. MacLennan, C. McEwan, A. Given, C. MacDougall, H. Aynsley, R. Banks, M. Davies, C. Elliot, R. Purves, B. Riddell, A. Lambie, E. Turner, M. Robertson, S. Nixon, C. Grieve. Replacements: A. Scott, K. Monks, T. Walling, S. McClymont, W. McClymont, J. Turnbull.

HAWICK LINDEN – G. Thomson, C. Gracie, S. Williamson, P. Mactaggart, S. Potts, K. Ford, R. Hamilton, J. White, B. Mercer, R. Beattie, K. Mabon, C. Turnbull, G. Blacklock, B. Keown, S. Fairbairn. Replacements: G. Baillie, C. Tofts.

Referee – Scott Robertson (Gala)