Selkirk 15, Dundee HSFP 13


LEFT – Scrum-half Mikey Davies, later named Four Seasons Forestry’s Selkirk ‘Man of the Match’, gets his threequarter line moving in Saturday’s game against Dundee HSFP at Philiphaugh. RIGHT – Josh Welsh kicks one of the five penalties which helped Selkirk secure a narrow 15-13 win.

LEFT – Lock Ricky Fluhler gets ready for some line-out action. RIGHT – Selkirk fly-half Gavin Craig was invariably in the thick of the action during Saturday’s cliff-hanger. [Photos: GRANT KINGHORN]

LEFT – Matt Kissick feeds back row colleague Ewan MacDougall. RIGHT – Callum Marshall battles to secure line-out possession.

LEFT – Selkirk’s official mascots Oliver Tomlinson (left) and Oliver McClymont accompany skipper Ross Nixon on to the pitch at the start of the match. RIGHT – Selkirk forwards coach Iain Paxton shakes hands with a Dundee player after the final whistle. [Photos: GRANT KINGHORN]

A PENALTY three minutes from time by full-back Josh Welsh was enough to secure victory for Selkirk in Saturday’s tense, edgy RBS National League contest against Dundee HSFP at Philiphaugh. The result sees the Souters consolidate third spot in the league table, with only two points now separating them from second-placed Watsonians.

“In many ways it was a frustrating performance,” head coach Alistair Dickson said after the match, “because over the 80 minutes we created at least five try-scoring opportunities but couldn’t take any of them

“I felt we played nearly all the rugby, but what let us down was an unacceptably high error count - part of our game we simply have to tighten up. That said, I thought the boys showed great character in the second half to keep believing they could win the game, and our work rate remained high right to the final whistle.”

Ultimately the difference between the two sides came down to goal kicks, with Josh Welsh converting all five of his attempts for the home team, while Dundee full-back Bryce Hosie could only manage to land three of his five shots at goal.

Selkirk put their first points on the board after six minutes when Welsh landed a penalty from wide on the right after Matt Kissick had been taken down illegally at a line-out. The young full-back added a second penalty soon afterwards, this time following the failure of a Dundee player to roll away from the tackle area.

Prior to this Selkirk had shown glimpses of their attacking potential, with Ross Nixon’s inside break being slickly carried on by Angus Duckett and Callum McColm, but all-too often the home threequarters were guilty of kicking away hard-won possession, allowing Dundee to launch counter-attacks deep into Selkirk’s territory.

A powerful burst by Ricky Fluhler on the 20-minute mark provided the chance for wing Callum McColm to go over in the left-hand corner, but he was squeezed into touch just short of the line.

Dundee took the lead in the 23rd minute when lock forward Chris Cumming - who was celebrating his birthday on Saturday - was driven over the line for a try following a well-controlled rolling maul. Hosie added the conversion to put the visitors 7-6 ahead.

A scything 40-metre break by home fly-half Gavin Craig, once again in fine form throughout, then created a try-scoring opportunity for Rory Banks on the right, but the wing’s attempt to chip the final Dundee defender was gathered by Mike Brown and the danger cleared.

In the 36th minute Hosie landed a penalty to increase Dundee’s lead, but right on the half-time whistle Welsh replied in kind for Selkirk, making the interval score 10-9 in the Mayfield men’s favour.

After missing two penalty attempts in the 41st and 54th minutes, Hosie was on target midway through the half to stretch the visitors’ lead to 13-9. Earlier Dundee openside Hamish Livingston had been yellow-carded for deliberate obstruction, and his absence from the field allowed home scrum-half Mikey Davies to engineer a series of silky breaks to keep the Philiphaugh side on the front foot.

A quickly taken line-out by Rory Banks saw Mikey Davies sprint up the stand touchline and off-load to Gavin Craig, whose chip ahead forced Dundee back inside their own ‘22’. With seven minutes remaining on the clock, Josh Welsh kicked his fourth penalty to leave Selkirk trailing by a single point at 13-12.

With the match’s momentum having swung in Selkirk’s favour, Scott Hendrie made good ground up the middle to take play to just outside Dundee’s ‘22’. A penalty for offside was conceded by the visitors, and Welsh stepped up to send the ball straight between the posts to put Selkirk 15-13 up with only three minutes to go.

Dundee threw everything at the home defence to try and reclaim the lead, but two penalties in quick succession against the visitors allowed Selkirk to clear their lines and hold out for victory. Scrum-half Mikey Davies was later named the Four Seasons Forestry ‘Selkirk Man of the Match’.

SELKIRK –J. Welsh, R. Banks, S. Hendrie, R. Nixon, C. McColm, G. Craig, M. Davies, G. Patterson, J. Bett, G. Turner, R. Fluhler, C. Marshall, E. MacDougall, A. Duckett, M. Kissick. Replacements: L. MacLennan, R. Wilson, R. Crockatt, C. Graur.

DUNDEE – B. Hosie, M. O’Sullivan, N. Alston, T. McKavanagh, M. Brown, J. Stewart, J. Rutnagur, A. Kent, D. Russell, G. Robertson, M. Harland, C. Cumming, R. McIver, H. Livingston, D. Levison. Replacements: N. Dymock, S. Longwell, G. Arnott, C. Bowie, S. Walker.

Referee – Sam Grove-White (Montrose).