GHA 10, Selkirk 45

NEW-LOOK SELKIRK REDISCOVER WINNING HABIT WITH IMPRESSIVE VICTORY IN GLASGOW

HITTING THE HEIGHTS. Selkirk lock Callum Marshall reaches skywards, thanks to a helping hand from debutant Ricky Fluhler, in Saturday’s 45-10 win over GHA at Braidholm. [Photo: AUDREY CRAIG]

AFTER a tumultuous week off the pitch, on Saturday Selkirk’s players made sure normal service was resumed on it, with a stunning bonus point victory over GHA at Braidholm.

Early last week forwards coach Ewen Robbie announced he was stepping down from his post, then on Friday the club learned 1st XV skipper Andrew Renwick had been suspended for nine weeks after being shown a red card for verbally abusing the referee in the Watsonians game. It means the 24-year-old lock will not be available until the cup fixture at Jed-Forest on November 9.

“It’s been a difficult few days,” admitted Selkirk’s director of rugby Cameron Cochrane, “so I was very pleased with  the way the boys put it all behind them and turned in a five-star performance against GHA.

“Ewen felt the new coaching set-up was not turning out as he’d envisaged, so has decided to step back from the coaching team. Assistant coach Iain Paxton will take charge of the forwards for the time being, but we are actively looking to bring the coaching group back up to full strength as soon as possible.

“The club would like to put on record its appreciation of everything Ewen has done on the coaching front for Selkirk in recent years, and we wish him every success in his future coaching endeavours.”

Despite showing no fewer than five changes in the playing squad for the GHA game, it was Selkirk who looked the more settled side in Saturday’s must-win fixture. Going into the match both clubs were still looking for their first win of the season, but it was the Philiphaugh men who emerged as the hungrier outfit.

Up 28-3 at the interval, Selkirk – captained for the first time by Ross Nixon – never let their early advantage slip, piling on 17 more points after halftime.

Switched to number eight in the absence of Ryan Crockatt, Matt Kissick had an outstanding game, as did scrum-half Mikey Davies (deputising for the injured Michael McVie). Kiwi newcomer Ricky Fluhler also made a promising senior debut at lock, and looks certain to be a key figure at Philiphaugh in the weeks ahead.

On Saturday everything finally clicked into place for the fired-up Souters, tries coming from Lee Kibble, Fraser Harkness (2), Davies and Darren Clapperton. Josh Welsh added four conversions and four penalties, with GHA’s points coming from a try by MacDonald converted by Houston, who also added a penalty.

SELKIRK – F. Harkness, J. Welsh, L. Kibble, R. Nixon, D. Clapperton, G. Craig, M. Davies, G. Patterson, J. Bett, C. Graur, R. Fluhler, C. Marshall, E. MacDougall, A. Duckett, M. Kissick. Replacements: G. Turner, A. Lambie, R. Wilson, L. MacLennan, C. MacDougall.