DOWN BUT DEFINITELY NOT OUT – ‘A’ XV DO CLUB PROUD AGAINST UNBEATEN COUNTY

Selkirk ‘A’s players pictured after their sterling performance at Bridgehaugh on Saturday. Back row, from left – Harry Borthwick, Jack Houston, Kerr Gerrard, Gavin Ross, Ross Purves, Robert Cook (capt..), Alan Lambie, Willie McClymont & Kieran Thomson (touch-judge). Front – Rory Hamilton, Strath Mackenzie, Finlay Amos, Neil Darling, Jy Griffin, Ryan Shiel, Dave Allan & Robbie Reilly. [Photo: JOHN SMAIL]

STIRLING COUNTY 2nds 27, SELKIRK ‘A’ 12

FOR the second Saturday in succession, Selkirk ‘A’s BT Reserve League National 2 fixture was played with uncontested scrums. This time it was Selkirk who couldn’t muster the required front row cover for their game against unbeaten BT Reserve League National 2 leaders Stirling County 2nds at Bridgehaugh.
The physically-imposing home team showed why they’re averaging 47 points a match this season by scoring an early try through fly-half Logan Bonnor, which he also converted.
However, any thoughts County might have harboured that they were on course for another one-sided victory were quickly dispelled by the young visitors, for what they lacked in size the Selkirk players more than made up for in courage and commitment.
To a man the Souters stood up to be counted, always striving to play positive rugby and not afraid to take the game to their bigger opponents. An early crash ball move by Strath Mackenzie set the benchmark, followed by rampaging runs from Neil Darling, Alan Lambie and Harry Borthwick.
Stirling suffered a setback in the 15th minute when lock Stephan Yarrow had to leave the field with a fractured tibula, but they still managed to increase their lead to 12-0 with a try by scrum-half Colin Turnbull.
Selkirk hit back almost immediately. A sustained assault on County’s try line saw the Souters patiently put together no fewer than 14 phases of play - Neil Darling, Jack Houston, Rob Cook and Dave Allan all making inroads before winger Kerr Gerrard dived over in the left-hand corner for a smartly executed try (his fifth in two games).
On the stroke of halftime Stirling struck a decisive blow. A Selkirk error saw the home side launch a counter-attack which ended in spectacular fashion, when openside flanker Stuart Allison caught a cleverly placed chip-kick on the full to score his team’s third try, putting County 17-5 ahead at the interval.
Unfazed by this setback, Selkirk cut the deficit when a fine break by Ross Purves from his own ‘22’led to a dazzling solo try by Dave Allan from 35 metres out, converted by Rory Hamilton, bringing the visitors right back into contention at 17-12.
With the home team able to summon fresh legs off their six-man bench, Selkirk’s tiring defenders did their best to halt the predictable County backlash. However, two bulldozing runs by Gregor Anderson resulted in a brace of scores for the powerful Stirling replacement, resulting in a 27-12 win for the league leaders.
Every Selkirk player pulled his weight in a gutsy team performance, but the coaches singled out Dave Allan as their Selkirk ‘man of the match’. This young Selkirk side certainly showed its true colours on Saturday.
STIRLING COUNTY – M. Pomphrey, R. Campbell, C. Mundell, C. Jardine, M. Whitton, L. Bonnor, C. Turnbull, K. Hall-Brown, B. Gilchrist, A. Wood, F. Kesson, S. Yarrow, L. Brymer, M. Anderson, S. Allison. Replacements: D. Westwood, C. Black, J. Buchanan, G. Anderson, R. Drummond, C. Wcislo.
SELKIRK – G. Ross, R. Shiel, J. Griffin, D. Allan, K. Gerrard, R. Hamilton, R. Purves, R. Reilly, F. Amos, S. Mackenzie, A. Lambie, J. Houston, N. Darling, R. Cook, H. Borthwick. Replacement: W. McClymont.

Referee – David Muir (SRU).