Heriotís FP 3rds 19, Selkirk Stormers 20

STORMERS LEAVE IT LATE, BUT MAINTAIN UNBEATEN STREAK TO STAY AT TOP OF THE TABLE


Chris Fairbairn Ė his last-gasp try set up winning conversion kick

PLAYING on the main pitch at Goldenacre, Selkirk Stormers rose to the occasion to edge past their hosts in the final seconds of Saturdayís pulsating RBS Reserve League East 2 clash. The win means Selkirk retain their unbeaten league record to stay top of the table, leaving Heriotís FP 3rds 13 points adrift in third place.
David Cassidy put the visitors 3-0 ahead from a penalty, but a determined and well-drilled Heriotís side re-grouped and scored an unconverted try to take the lead.
With a full complement of replacements on the bench, midway through the half Stormers swopped personnel to get some fresh lungs in the front row, second row and on the wing, resulting in two unconverted tries from Andrew Scott and Cassidy. Somewhat against the run of play, Heriotís replied with a converted try just before the break. Halftime score: Heriotís FP 3rds 12, Selkirk Stormers 13.
In an enthralling 40 minutes of end-to-end rugby, Heriotís took the initiative midway through the half to go in front thanks to a converted try. Selkirk came close to replying in kind, but Ben Purves was denied a touchdown when bundled into touch two metres short of the line.
As the game wore on, it looked as if Selkirk were about to lose their unbeaten record. However, with less than five minutes remaining the forwards drove captain Chris Fairbairn over the line for a try near the right touchline, leaving a difficult conversion attempt.
Coach Brian Cassidy took the kicking tee out on to the pitch and handed it to son David, and whatever fatherly advice was given certainly hit the mark, as Davidís conversion flew between the uprights and the match was won by a single point, 20-19.
Outstanding in the forwards were the Cook brothers, Richard and Robert, with Cassidy marshalling the back line well from stand-off, aided by some fine tackling from Gary Lyall in the centre. Special mention goes to ex-Earlston wing Chris Sanders, who made a promising Stormers debut.
The only downside of the match was the painful bicep injury suffered by Michael Jaffray. The former Selkirk captain was due to have an operation to re-attach the muscle to the bone on Wednesday, and everyone at Philiphaugh wishes him a speedy recovery.
STORMERS Ė A. Scott, J. Graham, G. Lyall, D. Purves, G. Lindsay, M. Jaffray, C. Monks, A. Hain, J. Stephen, C. Fairbairn, J. Lunt, J. Turnbull, S. McClymont, W. McClymont, Robt Cook. Replacements: C. Sanders, D. Cassidy, B. Purves, Rich. Cook, E. Robbie.