ON-SONG SOUTERS COME IN FROM THE COLD TO WIN HARD-FOUGHT CONTEST

Selkirk number eight Ewan MacDougall dives over the line to score Selkirk’s third try in Saturday’s 18-9 victory over Aberdeen Grammar at Philiphaugh.

Flanker Ian Oosthuizen finds himself sandwiched between two Aberdeen players as he tries to make progress in the Philiphaugh glaur.

Selkirk skipper Ross Nixon prepares to offload the ball to team-mate Darren Clapperton despite the attentions of two Aberdeen players.

   

Selkirk’s official match day mascots on Saturday were (on left) P3 Selkirk Rhino player Thomas Tait (Knowepark Primary) and P3 Selkirk Rhino player Taylor Kellet (Clovenfords Primary).

Saturday’s pitch inspection took place at Philiphaugh at 7.30am, overseen by (from left) Tom Ramage, Rob Forrest, John Rutherford, Brian Cassidy and Bert Duffy.


[Photos – GRANT KINGHORN PICS]

SELKIRK 18, ABERDEEN GRAMMAR 9

SELKIRK got back to winning ways with a hard-fought victory over Aberdeen Grammar at Philiphaugh on Saturday, with both sides making light of the bitterly cold and damp conditions to produce an absorbing contest.
Given the adverse weather, both teams gave ball retention and field position top priority. But whereas Selkirk had failed to master equally difficult conditions in their match against Falkirk a fortnight ago, this time Ross Nixon’s men used the tricky elements to their advantage.
“It was a very pleasing performance,” Selkirk assistant coach Michael Jaffray told the selkirkrfc.com web site after the game. “The foul weather proved a real leveller, and I thought our boys played the conditions really well, keeping things tight and kicking for position to maintain pressure.
“What impressed me most was the Selkirk players’ high work rate, which never once dipped – even when playing into the strong wind in the first half. All credit to Aberdeen for battling every bit as hard, and they tested our defence to the full in the final 10 minutes.”
Selkirk took the lead through a try by Mikey Davies, who capitalised on a series of home attacks inside the visitors’ ‘22’ to scramble over the line following quick ruck ball.
Two penalties from the boot of Aberdeen’s big centre Tom Aplin was answered by a penalty from home full-back Ciaran Whyte, putting Selkirk 8-6 ahead at halftime.
During the interval the Selkirk players retreated to the dressing room for a change of strip, and on returning to the field made good use of the wind at their backs to keep the visitors pinned in their own half.
A line-out close to Aberdeen’s try line produced a rolling maul followed by slick interplay between forwards and backs, creating the space for Selkirk hooker James Bett to cross for his side’s second try.
Soon afterwards an identical scenario, this time on the opposite side of the field, saw Selkirk vice-captain Ewan MacDonald score his team’s third try of the afternoon, giving the home side a handy 18-6 lead.
In reply, Aberdeen only managed a third Tom Aplin penalty, although the player did have the chance to salvage a losing bonus point in the final stages of the match, only to see his penalty attempt drift wide of the posts.
For their part, Selkirk missed out on a try bonus after Josh Mackay’s scoring pass to wing Frazer Anderson was deemed to have been forward.
A special mention goes to 26-year-old Selkirk ‘A’ skipper Robert Cook, who gave an impressive display on his 1st XV debut, while flanker Ian Oosthuizen had another outstanding game, notwithstanding his early exit to have a cut ear stitched.
Meanwhile fly-half Gavin Craig kept his composure despite the greasy conditions, while centre Ross Nixon’s distribution and wing Tythan Adams’ dangerous breaks ensured Selkirk remained on the front foot.
The Four Seasons Forestry ‘Selkirk Man of the Match’ award went to Ian Oosthuizen.
SELKIRK - C. Whyte, T. Adams, D. Clapperton, R. Nixon, C. McEwan, G. Craig, M. Davies, K. Cooney, J. Bett, B. Siyothula, R. Cook, P. Forrest, I. Oosthuizen, M. Robertson, E. MacDougall. Replacements: F. Anderson, J. Mackay, M. Waldron.
ABERDEEN – D. Russell, G. Walker, A. Ratcliffe, T. Aplin, C. Murray, S. Knudson, J. Gray, R. Ellinson, F. McKenzie, C. Neilson, A. Robertson, R. Cessford, C. Brew, C. Jollands, C. Howard. Replacements: Ross Anderson, S. Clark, D. Wallen, C. Shepherd, E. Murray.

Referee – Finlay Brown (Scottish Rugby)