FALKIRK HAVE UPPER HAND IN NO-HOLDS-BARRED
ENCOUNTER ON BURNMILL PITCH
[Photos – GRANT KINGHORN PICS]
Selkirk lock Andrew Renwick contests
line-out ball in Saturday’s BT National League 1 match against Falkirk on the Burnmill pitch.
Fly-half Gavin Craig prepares to
off-load the ball to skipper Ross Nixon, watched by supporters sheltering under umbrellas on the touchline.
Selkirk’s strong-running utility
threequarter Ciaran Whyte takes on the Falkirk defence.
Teenage hooker Josh Mackay bursts
between two Falkirk players, watched closely by team-mates Kieran Cooney and Mikey Davies.
Selkirk flanker Ian Oosthuizen throws
himself forward in a bid to block the clearance kick of Falkirk’s Liam Brims.
Selkirk 7, Falkirk
WITH parts of the main pitch at Philiphaugh
still deemed too dangerous for play after Friday night’s hard frost, Saturday’s rescheduled BT National League
1 fixture between Selkirk and Falkirk was switched, at short notice, to the nearby Burnmill pitch.
This turn of events clearly suited a fired-up Falkirk team, who took full advantage of the narrower dimensions
of the playing area to curb their opponents’ expansive style of play.
However, the real turning point in the game came in the ninth minute when Selkirk lock Andrew Renwick was shown
a red card by referee Keith Allen, after being adjudged to have made a late challenge on visiting fly-half Liam
From then on it was always going to be an uphill battle for the short-handed Souters, and Falkirk’s streetwise
players had no intention of relaxing their grip on a contest that was never less than full-blooded.
After the match, Selkirk head coach Graham Marshall conceded Falkirk had played the conditions better than the
home team, and had seemed less affected by the disruption surrounding the start of the match.
“Our discipline let us down a bit, and we didn’t manage to replicate the accuracy and patience we’d shown the previous
weekend against Edinburgh Accies.
“Set piece ball is always crucial, and our line-out didn’t really function today, which inevitably put us on the
back foot. Losing Jock after 10 minutes clearly didn’t help either.
“On a positive note, I thought youngsters Josh Mackay and Donald Nichol showed up well, and it’s important to get
these guys involved with a view to making a contribution to next season’s campaign.”
It took Falkirk just four minutes to open the scoring. A loose Selkirk pass ended up in the hands of visiting lock
David Stoddart, who broke upfield and released wing Jacob Adamson for a try under the posts. This sparked a free-for-all
in the dead ball area involving both sets of players, and a penalty was eventually awarded against Selkirk from
Falkirk fly-half Brims, who had converted Adamson’s try, went for goal from the half-way line but his effort dropped
Back came Selkirk, and an excellent positional kick by Josh Welsh pinned the visitors on their own five-metre line.
Falkirk stole possession at the line-out, however, and seconds later Andrew Renwick received his marching orders
after the incident with Liam Brims.
Ten minutes later the Sunnyside men were 14-0 up after a defensive mix-up allowed Adamson to gather a loose ball
close to the left-hand corner flag and flop over the line for his second try of the afternoon.
Stung into action, Selkirk then enjoyed their best spell thanks to some penetrating breaks by Ian Oosthuizen, Mikey
Davies and Darren Clapperton, but Falkirk’s defence held firm. A Brims penalty on the half-hour mark put the visitors
17-0 ahead, and this was how things stood at halftime.
A scything run by Selkirk danger man Tythan Adams early in the second half lifted home supporters’ hopes, and prop
Bonekele Siyothula came close to scoring following a quickly taken tap penalty by Mikey Davies and another surging
run from Oosthuizen.
Falkirk weathered the storm, and the point of no return for Selkirk came in the 65th minute when the visitors’
dominance at the scrum resulted in a penalty try, as well as a yellow card for a clearly mystified Donald Nichol.
A try five minutes from time by Gary Dempsey secured Falkirk’s bonus point win, with Selkirk finally crossing their
opponents’ line in the last play of the match – Callum McEwan scoring the try, with Ciaran Whyte adding the conversion.
The Four Seasons Forestry ‘Selkirk Man of the Match’ award went to Josh Mackay.
SELKIRK - J. Welsh, T. Adams, D. Clapperton, R. Nixon, F. Anderson, G. Craig, M. Davies, K. Cooney, J. Mackay,
C. Graur, A. Renwick, P. Forrest, I. Oosthuizen, D. Nichol , E. MacDougall. Replacements: M. Robertson, B. Siyothula,
R. Cook, C. Whyte, C. McEwan.
FALKIRK – C. Robertson, G. Dempsey, A. Rennie, A. Hamilton, J. Adamson, L. Brims, H. Russell, K. Burney, A. Gillespie,
K. Slade, D. Stoddart, C. Hamilton, G. Brodie, A. Inwood, J. Eaglesham. Replacements: J. McKenna, L. Skinner, A.
McNab, K. Rowe, G. Faulds.
Referee – Keith Allen