SELKIRK ‘A’ PLAYERS BATTLE HARD, BUT STRONG HAWICK FORCE SIDE CALL THE SHOTS

Selkirk ‘A’ scrum-half Harris McDonnell gets the ball away to team-mate Kieran Monks.

Hooker Matty Francis on the charge . . . again!

Rory Hamilton passes out to Harry Aynsley.


[Photos by GRANT KINGHORN PICS]

Selkirk ‘A’ 7, Hawick Force 24

FROM time to time fireworks lit up the night sky above Selkirk’s cricket ground on Friday night, with things proving equally explosive on the adjoining Philiphaugh rugby pitch, where Selkirk ‘A’ were hosting Hawick Force in a friendly fixture.
Tempers boiled over on several occasions during the match, leading to referee Cammy Forrest not only having to speak to both captains, but to both coaches as well.
If nothing else, this intensity showed the high commitment both sets of players invested in the contest, which produced exciting passages of end-to-end play despite the greasy underfoot conditions and persistent rain.
The experience of Hawick Force’s pack, allied to the visitors’ strong-running threequarter line, was always going to pose problems for the young Selkirk ‘A’ side. To their credit, the home players rose to the challenge as one, with no quarter given or asked.
Hawick’s towering South African centre, Wiaan Griebenow, proved a hot handful throughout the night, so it came as no surprise when he powered his way over for tries in the 17th and 39th minute. The visitors’ other first half points came from an Aaron Redpath try, with Bailey Donaldson adding two conversions to put Hawick 19-0 ahead at the interval.
Selkirk cut the deficit early in the second period when wing Nathaniel Armstrong gathered a spilled ball inside his own 10-metre line, pinned his ears back and raced clear to touch down between the posts. Rory Hamilton converted.
A try by Hawick replacement Mully Bannerman midway through the half completed the night’s scoring.
Selkirk were well served by the tireless work of Robert Cook and Jamie Turnbull in the loose, while Andrew Renwick, Derry Alexander and Jack Houston provided much-needed heft. Special mention, too, for home scrum-half Harris McDonnell, parachuted into the No. 9 jersey at the last minute.
The home side’s only casualty of the night was centre Harry Aynsley, who required three stitches in a head cut, but should be fit for this weekend’s league game against Edinburgh Accies 2nds.
SELKIRK – K. Monks, N. Armstrong, L. Martin, H. Aynsley, M. Rutter, R. Hamilton, H. McDonnell, M. Waldron, M. Francis, M. Haldane, A. Renwick, D. Alexander, L. Cassidy, J. Turnbull, R. Cook. Replacements: M. Brass, K. Thomson, R. Reilly, A. Davidson, M. Mackay, R. Purves, J. Houston.
HAWICK – A. Redpath, R. McKean, W. Griebenow, G. Huggan, R. Hamilton, B. Donaldson, D. Lightfoot, N. Murray, R. Hartdegan, R. Macleod, J. Grant, L. Martin, P. Drysdale, B. McNeil, M. Renwick. Replacements: C. Renwick, R. Toogood, B. McNeil, M. Parker, K. Ford, M. Bannerman.
Referee – Cammy Forrest (Biggar).

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