Jed-Forest 12, Selkirk 5


LEFT – Selkirk prop Cata Graur tries to batter his way through the Jed defence in Friday night’s cup match at Riverside Park. RIGHT – Skipper Andrew Renwick secures line-out possession for the visitors.

LEFT – Callum Marshall takes line-out ball at full stretch. RIGHT – Selkirk scrum-half Mikey Davies sets his threequarter line in motion. [Photos: GRANT KINGHORN]

A JADED display by Selkirk on a bitterly cold night at Riverside Park saw the RBS Borders Regional Cup holders lose the opening game of their title defence to a committed Jed-Forest team who kept their focus right to the final whistle.

The previous week’s hard-fought victory at Myreside had clearly taken its toll on the visitors, who had no fewer than five regulars missing because of injury, although Selkirk director of rugby Cameron Cochrane was not looking for excuses after the final whistle.

“As a team we simply didn’t turn up, with the result we weren’t able to generate any momentum and couldn’t seem to get into the game. We had enough possession and created enough chances to win the match, but full credit to Jed for defending well and taking their chances when they came.

“The boys know they’ll have to raise the bar for the visit of GHA to Philiphaugh this Saturday, and with a bit of luck we’ll have one or two players back to fitness for the game. However, we can’t afford to go off the boil at such a critical stage of the season, and I know our coaches will be working extra hard with the players this week to rekindle the passion shown against Watsonians.”

Friday’s contest saw both sides cancel each other out for long periods – a fact underlined by the 0-0 halftime score (Scott Hendrie and Chris Laidlaw having each missed a penalty attempt at goal).

The deadlock was broken early in the second half when Hendrie scrambled over for a try in the right-hand corner following quick ball from a scrum just outside Jed’s 22. Five minutes later the Royal Blues hit back when home wing Chris Gillan showed a clean pair of heels to the Selkirk defence to score a try, converted by Laidlaw.

Just before the final whistle Jed-Forest sealed the result with a try from skipper Robert Hogg, leaving Selkirk’s players to reflect on what might have been.

A plus-point for the Souters was the return of skipper Andrew Renwick to the side for the first time following his nine-week suspension, while prop Craig Elliot took the field in the second half to make his senior debut for the Philiphaugh club.

SELKIRK - F. Harkness, S. Hendrie, R. Nixon, L. Kibble, R. Banks, G. Craig, M. Davies, G. Turner, J. Bett, C. Graur, J. Everitt, A. Renwick, C. Marshall, E. MacDougall, R. Fluhler. Replacements: C. McColm, M. Robertson, G. Patterson, C. Elliot, R. Purves.

Referee – Duncan McClement (RFU).