ACCIES EDGE HOME AFTER SELKIRK ‘A’ UNABLE TO HIT THE GROUND RUNNING

Derry Alexander on the charge, with Kieran Thomson and David Cassidy close at hand.

‘Scrappy’ McNeill takes the game to Accies.

Robert Cook secures clean lineout ball.


Selkirk ‘A’ 21, Edinburgh Accies 2nds 23

A SLOW start saw Selkirk ‘A’ forced to chase the game in Saturday’s hard-fought Tennent’s Reserve League East 1 fixture against Edinburgh Accies 2nds at Philiphaugh.
Although the home side did manage to take the lead through a try by Nathaniel Armstrong with just 12 minutes left on the clock, Accies snatched victory deep into injury time when prop Charlie Stuart was driven over from a line-out to score the all-important try.
After the game Selkirk ‘A’ coach Darren Hoggan reflected on what might have been. “I thought we stuck in very well in the second half, upping our tempo and playing with more energy and more aggression. However, we just didn’t turn up in the first half, and that’s pretty much where the game was won and lost.”
The potency of the visitors’ counter-attacking paved the way for the afternoon’s first try. Selkirk lost their own line-out ball just inside Accies’ 22, and slick handling by the city side’s threequarters resulted in Hamish McLean touching down in the corner. Ciaran Armstrong added the conversion.
Despite being reduced to 14 men soon afterwards when Armstrong was yellow-carded, Accies stretched their lead through a try by Fraser Lindsay, making the interval score 12-0 to the visitors.
Having lost lock Derry Alexander with a dislocated finger, Selkirk brought on all six of their replacements at the start of the second half. After Harry Borthwick was stopped just short of the Accies line, the next drive by Selkirk’s forwards saw No. 8 Robert Cook dive over for a try, converted by Scott Clark.
Two penalties from the boot of Armstrong put Accies 18-7 in front, but Cook’s second try and one by Nathaniel Armstrong, both converted by Clark, saw Selkirk get their noses ahead for the first time in the match at 21-18.
In the dying seconds Cook received a yellow card for coming in from the side, and despite desperate defending by the home pack, Accies clinched victory with Stuart’s last-gasp touchdown following a textbook line-out drive.
A big plus-point for Selkirk was the return to action after injury of the team’s buzz-bomb threequarter, Scrappy McNeill, whose energy and strong running kept the visitors’ defence at full stretch. Replacement prop James Perry also made an impact on his first appearance of the season.
The Four Seasons Forestry ‘Selkirk Man of the Match’ award went to David Cassidy
SELKIRK – C. McNeil, N. Armstrong, H. Aynsley, M. Rutter, H. Macdonell, M. Haldane, M. Francis, K. Thomson, D. Alexander, L. Cassidy, J. Houston, J. Turnbull, R. Cook. Replacements: A. Davidson, M. Mackay, R. Purves, H. Borthwick, P. Smail, J. Perry.
ACCIES – R. Cameron, H. McLean, J. Gordon, T. Pilkington-Tait, F. Lindsay, C. Armstrong, B. Blyth, C. Stuart, R. Gregor, F. MacKenzie, C. Bain, R. McConnell, T. Jones, R. Dinnes, J. Compagri. Replacements: R. Scott, P. Burns, F. Greig, J. DiDomenico, T. Zulu, H. McMillan, T. Bowman.
Referee – Aonghus Ryan (Kelso).

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