CLOSE CALL AT PHILIPHAUGH AS
SELKIRK JUST MANAGE TO SHADE BATTLING PEEBLES SIDE
LEFT – Selkirk wing Lewis MacLennan
cuts inside opposite number Neil Hogarth to score his team’s only try in Saturday’s 11-10 win over Peebles at Philiphaugh.
RIGHT – Fly-half Gavin Craig gets his pass away.
LEFT – Angus Duckett
powers his way towards the try line. RIGHT – Selkirk skipper Andrew Renwick wins line-out ball. [Photos: GRANT
LEFT – Full-back Josh
Welsh launches another Selkirk attack. RIGHT – Official mascots Cameron Forster (left) and Arran Hogg accompany
Selkirk captain Andrew Renwick out on to the pitch. [Photos: GRANT KINGHORN]
SELKIRK’S players had to dig deep on Saturday to
contain a fired-up Peebles team, who kept the home side’s defences at full stretch for long periods of Saturday’s
RBS Border Regional Cup fixture at Philiphaugh.
Even with the breeze at their backs in the second half, Selkirk found it impossible to put clear water between
themselves and their Border rivals, and it took a penalty from Josh Welsh in the 64th minute to separate the sides.
However, the result hung in the balance right up to the final whistle, with the visitors winning a series of injury
time line-outs in Selkirk territory to keep home supporters on the edge of their seats.
Peebles started the game at a higher tempo than their hosts, who conceded three penalties inside the first six
minutes. Donald Anderson’s kick to touch from the last of these awards saw the visitors’ pack launch a rolling
maul towards the Selkirk try line, and another infringement soon afterwards saw goal-kicker Greg Raeburn put Peebles’
first points on the board.
Although Selkirk replied in kind through a Josh Welsh penalty on the 10-minute mark, it was the visitors who continued
to show the greater purpose and commitment. Peebles regained the lead after 14 minutes thanks to a try by openside
Kieran Brown, who raced under the posts following a series of tightly controlled drives. Raeburn added the conversion
to put the visitors 10-3 up.
Stung into action, a quickly taken tap penalty by home scrum-half Mickey Davies saw Josh Welsh launch an attack
before feeding Matt Kissick, with the lanky number eight making ground up the left before being stopped. Quick
ball allowed Gavin Craig to find Angus Duckett in support on his right, with talented youngster Lewis MacLennan
taking the flanker’s off-load to cut inside the Peebles cover and dive over for his first senior try for Selkirk.
Although there was no further scoring before halftime, Selkirk had several chances to go ahead. Two scorching breaks
by Gavin Craig almost led to tries – Duckett being tackled in the act of grounding the ball, then Craig himself
being tackled from behind in the shadow of the posts after Welsh and Duckett had made the hard yards. Scott Hendrie
also had a couple of strong runs, but lacked support when stopped. Halftime score – Selkirk 8, Peebles 10.
Selkirk replaced scrum-half Mikey Davies with Michael McVie at the start of the second half – the ex-captain’s
first taste of senior rugby for three months after fracturing his thumb against Watsonians at the end of August.
Shortly afterwards Gordon Patterson and James Bett came off the bench to take over from Graham Turner and Ruairi
McVie and Raeburn both missed chances at goal before Welsh stepped up to land his second penalty of the afternoon
and put Selkirk ahead for the first time in the contest at 11-10. Less than a minute later Raeburn had the chance
to restore Peebles’ lead following a deliberate knock-on by Duckett, but the visiting full-back’s attempt drifted
Spurred on by their hard-working Kiwi number eight Warren Kearney (who later required five stitches in a cut above
his left eye), Peebles continued to take the game to their hosts. A head knock then forced Matt Kissick to leave
the field, his place being taken by Ryan Crockatt, and with seven minutes remaining Welsh had the chance to put
his side four points clear but his penalty attempt went wide.
Peebles spent the final minutes of the game deep in Selkirk territory, with the home side’s industrious skipper
Jock Renwick securing a vital turnover following a quickly taken tap penalty by the visitors.
The final whistle eventually blew as Peebles continued to press for the winning score, but Selkirk’s players were
in no mood to let victory slip through their fingers at such a late stage of the proceedings, keeping their nerve,
and their try line, intact.
Four Seasons Forestry ‘Selkirk Man of the Match’ – Lewis MacLennan.
SELKIRK - J. Welsh, S. Hendrie, R. Nixon, L. Kibble, L. MacLennan, G. Craig, M. Davies, G. Turner, R. Wilson, C.
Graur, A. Renwick, R. Fluhler, E. MacDougall, A. Duckett, M. Kissick. Replacements: M. McVie, J. Bett, R. Crockatt,
PEEBLES – G. Raeburn, D. Munday, C. Scott, D. Clancy, N. Hogarth, D. Anderson, Scott McCormick, A. Brown, M. Carryer,
J. Menzies, J. Swiatek, K. Clyde, C. McCann, K. Brown, W. Kearney. Replacements: J. Cockburn, R. Harrison, D. Hall,
C. Blyth, A. Smellie.
Referee – Malcolm Changleng (Gala).