Scrum-half Callum McEwan manages to clear the ball from a ruck despite the attention of G.H.A. winger Grant Mollison.

Selkirk centre Scott Hendrie bursts clear in Saturday’s match against G.H.A. at Philiphaugh, with team-mates Ruairi Wilson and Lewis MacLennan ready to lend support.

Prop Lwando Mabenge sets off on another bulldozing run, while number eight Sean Nixon (top left) yells for the off-load!

SELKIRK 55, G.H.A. 24

DESPERATE to return to winning ways after the previous weekend’s heavy defeat at Mayfield, Selkirk gave their loyal supporters plenty to cheer about at Philiphaugh on Saturday, chalking up their second seven-try victory of the BT National League Division 1 campaign.
Despite the margin of victory, opponents G.H.A. were no pushovers – a fact not lost on Selkirk assistant coach Michael Jaffray. “The first 15 minutes were very tough, with G.H.A. playing a high-tempo game which kept our players at full stretch,” the former Selkirk skipper told the web site after the match.
“Eventually we began to settle, gaining territory and starting to dictate play on our own terms. Despite going behind to an early score we kept our composure, and as the confidence levels started to rise, so tries weren’t long in coming.
“Ciaran Whyte made some great breaks and also scored a cracker of a try, while I thought Sean Nixon was outstanding in his first game for us at number eight. After Scott Tough got injured, young Callum McEwan came on and had an outstanding match.
“It helped having Scott Hendrie and Darren Clapperton back in the threequarter line, with forwards and backs combining really well to score some well-executed tries.”
It was G.H.A. who opened the scoring with a try after 12 minutes from wing Nigel Kelly, converted by scrum-half Murray Houston, who also added a penalty later in the half. Selkirk’s first half tries came from Scott Tough, Scott Hendrie and Ciaran Whyte, with Josh Welsh adding all three conversions, plus a couple of penalties, to give Selkirk an interval lead of 27-10.
The home side began to play with more freedom and flair after the break, resulting in four further tries from Darren Clapperton (2), Sean Nixon and Peter Forrest.
Josh Welsh kicked two conversions before heading to the touchline with a leg strain, and in his absence Scott Hendrie kicked two further conversions. The visitors’ remaining points came from tries by Houston and Tom Brown, with Houston slotting both conversions.
The home coaches selected Ciaran Whyte as the Four Seasons Forestry ‘Selkirk Man of the Match’.
The only issues to cloud Selkirk’s day were the leg injuries sustained by Scott Tough and Ciaran Whyte, both of which will be further assessed in the coming days. On a brighter note, centre Craig MacDougall has made a full recovery from the knock picked up against Howe of Fife, while prop Cata Graur is expected to take a full part in training this week after being sidelined for a fortnight with a calf injury.
SELKIRK - D. Clapperton, S. Hendrie, L. MacLennan, R. Nixon, J. Welsh, C. Whyte, S. Tough, K. Cooney, R. Wilson, L. Mabenge, P. Forrest, M. Gordon, E. MacDougall, M. Robertson, S. Nixon. Replacements: C. McEwan, C. McAulay, M. Waldron, C. MacDougall, S. McDonald
G.H.A. – C. Binnie, G. Mollison, B. Addison, T. Brown, N. Kelly, A. Goudie, M. Houston, J. Leslie, D. Ewing, M. Scott, R. Jenkins, J. Auld, P. Harkins, W. Graham, R. Angus. Replacements: S. Carson, S. Plumridge, L. Barron, C. Rome, C. King.
Referee – Steven Turnbull (Scottish Rugby)