FALKIRK’S ground ‘Sunnyside’ proved anything but for Selkirk on Saturday, with the Souters suffering the darkest day of their BT National 1 campaign to date.
The writing was on the wall for the visitors even before a ball had been kicked, when scrum-half Callum McEwan fractured his thumb during the team’s warm-up. Callum did take the field for the first five minutes of the match, but when the extent of his injury became apparent he was replaced at scrum-half by the returning Mikey Davies (one of the day’s few positives for the Philiphaugh side).
McEwan wasn't the only injury Selkirk had to contend with. Number eight Sean Nixon was forced to the sidelines with an ankle injury after landing awkwardly at a line-out, while openside flanker Matt Robertson required three stitches in a head wound.
It was a tough, physical game which saw the big Falkirk forwards gradually dominate, with Selkirk’s exciting back three finding themselves isolated from proceedings.
“With the injuries we suffered today, we simply couldn’t cope with the pressure Falkirk were putting us under,” Selkirk team manager Tom Ramage said after the match.
“On top of that we had a red card 20 minutes into the game which made it even more difficult, leaving us to see out the final hour of the match with 14 men.
“When you suffer three serious injuries like we did, plus the card, you just have to accept it wasn’t going to be our day.”
Vice-skipper Ewan MacDougall was red-carded 20 minutes into the game for alleged foul play – a development that had a massive effect on the Souters, who up until that point had been ahead in the contest and looked up to dealing with anything the home team could throw at them.
Selkirk still managed to go into the interval 5-3 ahead thanks to a cracking try by winger Josh Welsh. The score stemmed from some impressive build-up play by backs and forwards, which all started from inside Selkirk’s 22 and had the away supporters raising the roof.
Prop Lwando Mabenge turned in yet another strong performance in the game, while a special mention goes to Mikey Davies, who fortuitously had returned to help the club in their hour of need, having taken a break from the game.
SELKIRK: D. Clapperton, S. Hendrie, L. MacLennan, C. MacDougall, J. Welsh, R. Nixon, C. McEwan, K. Cooney, R. Wilson, L. Mabenge, J. McGowan, M. Gordon, E. MacDougall, M. Robertson, S. Nixon. Replacements: M. Davies, P. Forrest, C. Graur, D. Allan, C. MacAulay.