Hawick 43 Selkirk 26

SLUGGISH START COSTS SELKIRK DEAR AS HAWICK TAKE THE BORDER LEAGUE SPOILS

Selkirk’s Kieran Cooney takes the game to Hawick in Friday night’s Border League fixture at Mansfield Park.

Selkirk scrum-half Scott Tough finds himself surrounded by Green shirts as Hawick keep up the pressure


Replacement scrum-half Mikey Davies fires out a pass, watched by Gordon Patterson, Lewis MacLennan and Scott McDonald.

Selkirk number eight Matt Kissick prepares to offload the ball following a scrum.

Photos: Grant Kinghorn Pics

A YOUNG Selkirk side found the going tough in Friday night’s Booker Border League match at Mansfield Park, where both sides were keen to spread the ball wide and provide the spectators with entertaining, open rugby.

After seven minutes Selkirk’s pack was shunted back by the Hawick eight to concede a penalty, which Lee Armstrong duly converted. Enterprising offloading play by Selkirk was halted on a number of occasions by dropped balls, while Hawick were also guilty of losing the ball in possession.

On the 10-minute mark the Greens scored a fine breakaway try from deep in their own half through full-back Scott Peffers, with Armstrong easily landing the conversion.

At this stage of the match Selkirk flanker Ewan MacDougall had to leave the field after an accidental clash of heads, and Chaney Willemse entered the fray as his replacement.

The Greens scored their next try through hooker Ross Graham after a solid drive by the forwards, and the conversion by Armstrong gave Hawick a comfortable lead. The visitors were not helping their cause by regularly giving away possession and missing first-time tackles - errors a skilful Hawick team was quick to punish.

Further tries by Armstrong, McLeod and Cottrell (on the stroke of half time) added to the visiting supporters’ disappointment. With an interval lead of 38-0, Hawick were playing at a level of pace Selkirk were finding hard to live with.

The Selkirk coaches’ halftime team talk saw a sea change in the visitors’ performance levels, and Mikey Davies (on at scrum-half for the second half) immediately made a telling break to release Callum McColm for an unconverted try.

Although this was cancelled out by a Neil McColm try for Hawick, the Souters were now competing much more effectively at the set piece. Josh Welsh put his team into a good attacking position with a raking touch-finder, and Matt Kissick - who had an excellent match – scored a converted try after several stirring phases of play.

Callum McColm created another attack with a weaving run, and Hawick were now finding themselves under pressure in areas they had dominated in the first half. It came as no surprise when Josh Welsh found space down the stand side to score a try, leaving defenders in his wake. Rory Banks brought out full points with an excellent conversion.

Selkirk saved their best try until last when Craig MacDougall was released in space and ran in between the posts unopposed. Welsh converted to make the final score: Hawick 43, Selkirk 26.

The Greens thoroughly deserved their victory with a convincing first half display, but all credit to the young Souters who retrieved a decent degree of pride by outscoring their opponents 26-5 in the second half.

SELKIRK - R. Banks, C. McEwan, L. MacLennan, C. MacDougall, J. Welsh, C. McColm, S. Tough, G. Patterson, J. Bett, C. Graur, K. Cooney , S. McDonald, E. MacDougall, A. Duckett, M. Kissick. Replacements: M. Davies, R. Wilson, M. Robertson, K. Ramage, C. Willemse.