Dundee HSFP 13, Selkirk 22

NO STOPPING IN-FORM SELKIRK AS PLAYERS PULL OUT ALL THE STOPS AT DUNDEE

LEFT – Selkirk flanker Angus Duckett in full flight during Saturday’s match against Dundee HSFP at Mayfield. RIGHT – Hooker James Bett is stopped just short of the try line by a Dundee defender.

LEFT – Darren Clapperton scores Selkirk’s first try – his eighth of the season. RIGHT – Cata Graur shows his stomach for the fight by executing a nifty backflip to touch down the game’s decisive try.

LEFT – Vice-captain Ross Nixon makes his first senior appearance of the season at Mayfield. RIGHT – Callum McColm under pressure – but help is at hand from Lewis MacLennan and Craig MacDougall.

LEFT – Wing Darren Clapperton avoids the clutches of Dundee fly-half Harry Millar. RIGHT – Selkirk full-back Josh Welsh takes a pot at goal watched by Scott Tough. [Photos: GRANT KINGHORN]

ANOTHER strong showing by Selkirk at Mayfield on Saturday saw the Philiphaugh side make it three league wins out of three, preserving their place at the top of the BT National League Division 1 table.

At a ground where Selkirk victories have been few and far between in recent years, it was the visitors who made the more positive start to the match, attacking at every opportunity and forcing the Taysiders on the defensive for long periods.

However, against the run of play Dundee took the lead thanks to a penalty from stand-off Harry Millar, after Selkirk had been caught off-side in their own 22.

Unfazed by this setback, Selkirk continued to take the game to their bigger opponents at every opportunity. A scrum pick-up by Callum Marshall saw the number eight dummy his way past the home defence, making room for wing Darren Clapperton to sprint home for the visitors’ first try. Josh Welsh added the conversion.

Ten minutes later Clapperton was again in the thick of the action, giving a scoring pass to Craig MacDougall, and the centre needed no second invitation to cross for an unconverted try to put the Souters two scores ahead.

The Selkirk team’s display of free-flowing rugby was clearly pleasing the club’s large travelling support on the sidelines, and halftime arrived with Selkirk well worth their 12-3 lead. At this point Mikey Davies was replaced at scrum-half by Scott Tough, with John Everitt taking over from Jordan McGowan in the second row.

The second half saw Selkirk again apply all the early pressure, and when the referee awarded a penalty against Dundee for off-side, Welsh stepped up to add the three points.

Selkirk’s penchant for launching attacks deep inside their own half then backfired when a stray pass went straight to Dundee wing Ollie Cain, who had the easiest of tasks touching down the ball for a simple try converted by Millar.

This setback was compounded when Dundee closed the gap to just two points after Millar landed a long-range penalty to cut Selkirk’s lead to 15-13.

Jolted into action, Selkirk piled on the pressure and were rewarded for their efforts when replacement prop Cata Graur scored under the posts, following a series of quick-fire handling moves involving almost the entire Selkirk team. Welsh converted to set the seal on a hard-won victory.

Selkirk openside Angus Duckett celebrated his return to the team after injury by picking up the ‘man of match’ award, but in fairness the whole 20-man Selkirk squad worked hard for each other and deserved the win.

SELKIRK – J. Welsh, R. Banks, L. MacLennan, C. MacDougall, D. Clapperton , C. McColm, M. Davies, K. Cooney, J. Bett, B. Riddell, J. McGowan, A. Renwick, E. MacDougall, A. Duckett, C Marshall. Replacements: S. Tough , R. Nixon, C. Graur, J. Everitt, R. Wilson.