Selkirk centre Douglas Swinbanks tries to shake off the attentions of two Musselburgh defenders, with Gavin Ross (left) and Dave Allan awaiting developments. [Photo: GRANT KINGHORN PICS]


IN a full-blooded match in which no quarter was asked or given, Musselburgh 2nds fought their way to a hard-earned victory in Saturday’s BT Reserve League National 2 fixture at Philiphaugh.
Selkirk had a chance to kick a penalty in the dying seconds of the game which would almost certainly have earned the Souters a draw, but skipper Robert Cook opted to go for a win from a line-out five metres from the visitors’ try line which ultimate foundered on Musselburgh’s hard-tackling defence.
The contest was overshadowed by the serious injury suffered by Selkirk stand-off Callum McColm at the start of the second half. Up until this point McColm had been having an outstanding match, and his departure from the field with a painful double fracture of the jaw has dealt the whole club a huge blow.
Had Selkirk managed to finish off two gilt-edged try-scoring opportunities in each half the result might have been different, but all credit to Musselburgh, whose strong-running centre partnership of Liam Young and Thomas Rodriguez always posed problems for the home defence.
Selkirk were well served by Rory Banks, whose skilful game management and eye for the break regularly put the visitors on the back foot, while openside flanker Strath Mackenzie’s speed in attack and tireless foraging rightly earned him Selkirk’s ‘Man of the Match’ award.

Lock Alan Lambie was also in good form, regularly forcing turnovers, while number eight Scott McDonald was back to his belligerent best after a spell out injured.
Selkirk’s points came from tries by Banks (2) and Mackenzie, with Banks adding all three conversions plus a penalty. Musselburgh’s try scorers were O’Brien, Durham and Clark (2), with Fraser kicking two conversions and a penalty.
SELKIRK – R. Banks, G. Ross, D. Swinbanks, D. Allan, L. Martin, C. McColm, F. Anderson, M. Waldron, R. Purves, K. Thomson, A. Lambie, J. Turnbull, R. Cook, S. Mackenzie, S. McDonald. Replacements: F. Amos, J. Griffin, C. McAulay, H. Borthwick, R. Reilly, J. Stephen.
MUSSELBURGH – C. Busby, J. Dickson, L. Young, T. Rodriguez, R. Stott, L. Smith, L. Fraser, D. Grant, N. Durham, C. Buchan, N. Clark, E. O’Brien, B. Graham, C. Fleming, T. Hamilton. Replacements: R. Walls, J. Huston, C. Young.

Referee – Keith Fisken (Peebles).