HONOURS EVEN AT MANSFIELD AFTER SELKIRK GIVE MUCH IMPROVED PERFORMANCE

Centre Callum Anderson dives over in the corner for Selkirk’s last-gasp try against Hawick.

Selkirk flanker Scott McClymont looks for an opening.

Full-back Henry Bithray initiates another Selkirk attack.

Luca Merolle fires out a pass to his threequarter line.

Jacob Henry races past a clutch of Hawick defenders.


[Photos by GRANT KINGHORN PICS]

Hawick 12, Selkirk 12

SELKIRK fly-half Aaron McColm’s nerveless touchline conversion five minutes from full-time, guaranteed Selkirk a share of the spoils in Saturday’s thrilling Tennent’s Premiership match against Hawick at Mansfield Park.
With just two points separating the teams following Callum Anderson’s dramatic late score in the corner, McColm’s perfectly judged kick sailed straight between the posts. A draw was no more than the visitors deserved.
“Looking back, I’m disappointed we didn’t manage a win,” Selkirk forwards coach Neil Darling told the selkirkrfc.com website after the final whistle. “That said, coming here is never easy, so at the end of the day I’d settle for the draw.
“In the dressing room before the game we asked the boys for an honest performance, and to give 100 per cent effort for the full 80 minutes. We definitely got that, so no complaints there.
“We definitely had opportunities to win the game, as there were a couple of two-on-one chances that we should have taken. However, full credit to Hawick who played to their strengths and kept it a tight contest.”
Selkirk’s cause wasn’t helped when Ross Nixon suffered a serious hand injury as early as the sixth minute. It was discovered the ex-skipper had fractured a metacarpal in his hand, and will be out of action for six to eight weeks.
Nixon’s replacement at centre was Callum Anderson, who went on to have an outstanding match, rounded off in style by his cleverly worked 75th minute blindside try.
During the game’s opening exchanges, the Hawick pack put Selkirk under intense pressure close to their own try line, so it was perhaps no surprise that both of the Greens’ tries (one in each half) were generated by the home eight.
A penalty try was awarded to Hawick after a series of scrums close to the visitors’ try line had resulted in a flurry of penalties against the Selkirk pack.
Before halftime Selkirk hit back thanks to a try from full-back Henry Bithray. A line-out drive by the visitors on Hawick’s ‘22’ saw skipper Ewan MacDougall and back row colleague Scott McClymont combine to create enough space for Bithray to slice through and touch down.
Leading 7-5 at the break, the home team stretched their lead early in the second half when the Greens’ veteran No. 8, Bruce McNeil, touched the ball down for a pushover try
As play swung from end to end, both sides’ solid defence prevented any further scoring until Callum Anderson’s vital try in the game’s closing stages took the Souters to within two points of the hosts’ total. Aaron McColm’s trusty right boot did the rest.
Hawick were well served behind the scrum by their strong-running centre Grant Huggan, while up front the back row of Bruce McNeil, Stuart Graham and Jae Linton always posed a threat.
Selkirk stand-off Aaron McColm clearly enjoyed being back in the No. 10 jersey, while Jack Houston again showed up well at the line-out and Bruce Riddell slotted in well at hooker in the absence of James Bett.
HAWICK – M. Bannerman, R. McKean, A. Mitchell, G. Huggan, L. Wooley, K. Brunton, D. Lightfoot, D. Johnston, M. Carryer, C. Bachurzewski, S. Fairbairn, D. Suddon, S. Graham, J. Linton, B. McNeil. Replacements: C. Renwick, R. Twogood, M. Renwick, B. McNeil, B. Donaldson.
SELKIRK – H. Bithray, J. Henry, J. Welsh, R. Nixon, L. Berte, Aaron McColm, L. Merolle, L. Pettie, B. Riddell, G. Robertson, P. Forrest, J. Houston, A. Mackay, S. McClymont, E. MacDougall. Replacements: C. Anderson, F. Anderson, D. Alexander, M. Waldron, R. Cook.

Referee – Ross Mabon (SRU).

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