SELKIRK PLAYERS BACK ON VICTORY TRAIL AFTER BIG-HEARTED EFFORT AT BRAIDHOLM

Selkirk centre Josh Welsh burst through for Selkirk’s second try on Saturday.

Donald Nichol hits up, with team-mate Josh Mackay ready in support.

Aaron McColm goes to ground as Andrew Renwick prepares to lend a hand.

Head coach Scott Wight speaks to Selkirk’s squad after the final whistle.

A 10-point haul for goal-kicker Aaron McColm.

Scott McClymont tries to dislodge GHA tackler.

[Photos by GRANT KINGHORN PICS]

GHA 13, Selkirk 20

SELKIRK bounced back from the disappointment of last week’s home defeat by Edinburgh Accies with a hard-fought victory over Glasgow Hutchesons’ Aloysians at Braidholm on Saturday.
This win sees the Philiphaugh side climb to third spot in the Tennent’s Premiership table - a highly satisfying position to be in just as the league campaign reaches the halfway stage.
No-one epitomises Selkirk’s indomitable spirit better than their ex-captain Ross Nixon. Having sustained a fractured hand at Mansfield Park seven weeks ago, the 31-year-old centre had hoped to delay his comeback for another week.
However, when Callum Anderson failed a late fitness test on a groin strain, necessitating Nathaniel Armstrong’s promotion to Selkirk’s starting line-up, Nixon agreed to travel with the squad to Glasgow as a replacement.
He took the field 10 minutes from time (his 260th appearance for the 1st XV), and was delighted to make a contribution to what proved a positive team performance. “Our aim is to finish in the play-off places,” said Ross after the game, “so it was important to get things back on track today.
“As well as losing Callum, we were without James Bett and Henry Bithray because of injury, so I was more than happy to step in and help out. There’s a really positive feeling in the Selkirk dressing room right now, with everyone working hard to keep the wins coming, so today’s result has given the boys a big boost.”
The match’s opening quarter was evenly contested, with neither side able to engineer a breakthrough. This changed in the 26th minute when GHA’s Adam Scott kicked a penalty. Soon afterwards Selkirk fell further behind when a miss move saw wing Ruairi O’Keefe score a try in the corner
The visitors hit back when home prop Michael Fox was yellow-carded for a high tackle on Selkirk skipper Ewan MacDougall, with MacDougall himself exacting retribution by scoring his team’s first try following a concerted drive by the forwards. Aaron McColm converted to make the interval score 8-7 in GHA’s favour.
Despite having hooker Peter Forrest sent to the sin bin early in the second half, Selkirk took the lead when Luca Berte combined cleverly with fellow centre Josh Welsh to send the powerful 25-year-old threequarter bursting past two defenders for a try. McColm added the conversion, and his subsequent penalty increased the visitors’ advantage to 17-8.
Although GHA cut the deficit with an Adam Scott try wide out, Selkirk’s players kept their nerve to see out the final 10 minutes of the match – McColm’s second successful penalty a minute from time serving to underline the Philiphaugh men’s dominance.
Selkirk skipper Ewan MacDougall continued his fine form with another tenacious display, while Scott McClymont, Donald Nichol and replacement Andy Mackay all had their moments in a solid pack performance. Behind the scrum Luca Berte again caught the eye in his new role at inside centre, while Aaron McColm’s accuracy from the kicking tee helped steady the Selkirk ship at key moments in the contest.
GHA - A. Gillman, R. O’Keefe, G. Mollison, A. Hughes, A. Scott, J. MacKinnon, G. Baird, S. Carson, H. Clark, M. Fox, A. Barnett, J. McCarthy, M. Marinkovic, M. Ryan, L. McCutcheon. Replacements: L. Barron, T. Brogan, E. Hardie, J. Anderson, A. Lamb.
SELKIRK – R. Cottrell, F. Anderson, J. Welsh, L. Berte, N. Armstrong, A. McColm, L. Merolle, L. Pettie, P. Forrest, S. Rankin, A. Renwick, D. Nichol, J. Mackay, S. McClymont, E. MacDougall. Replacements: M. Francis, B. Riddell, A. Mackay, L. Martin, R. Nixon.
Referee: Fergus Hollins (SRU).

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HIGHLIGHTS OF GHA MATCH 16/11

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