Selkirk ‘A’ 23, Peebles 2nds 24

Selkirk ‘A’ just miss out

Chris Kemp — fine display cut short by injury.

CUP ties don’t come any fiercer or more exciting than Friday night’s cliff-hanger at Philiphaugh, where Peebles 2nds edged out Selkirk in the Borders District Cup. In the end it was the visitors’ greater experience under pressure that proved the deciding factor, although Selkirk’s young team pushed them all the way in a match of raw intensity that kept the large crowd gripped for the full 80 minutes.
Peebles made the livelier start, with first team regular Keith Nisbet showing real pace to cut through the home defence from 50 metres out and score. Chris Evans converted. Back came Selkirk with a fine intercept and sprint upfield by Darren Hulme, and even though the full-back was unable to make the try line, soon afterwards Gary Lyall kicked a penalty to reduce the deficit. The home side took the lead in the 21st minute. Craig Hunter burst clear on a diagonal run which took him right to the goal posts, and whenstopped he managed to pop the ball to Duncan Lawson, and the flanker dived over for a fine score. Lyall added the conversion, and soon afterwards kicked a penalty to put Selkirk 13-7 ahead. As both sides upped the tempo, it was Peebles who turned pressure into points — a quick tap penalty allowing prop Scott Deacon to bulldoze his way over for a try. Minutes later Alan Smiley scored in the other corner after Neil Brown’s kick had been charged down, and Nisbet added both conversions to put Peebles 21-13 ahead at the break.
At this stage Selkirk lost the services of their industrious back row player Chris Kemp with a shoulder injury, allowing Youth Club vice-captain David Gray to take the field for his first Philiphaugh outing. Urged on by skipper Bryan Hoggan, the home team hauled themselves back into the game thanks to a stupendous try from Craig Hunter, whose 65-metre touchline run mesmerised the Peebles defence. Lyall added the conversion.
A penalty 11 minutes from time by Nisbet was countered by a similar effort from Lyall, but the Peebles team’s defence held firm to secure a hard-fought win.

SELKIRK ‘A’ — D. Hulme, N. Brown, A. Jamieson, G. Lyall, C. Hunter, M. Easson (rep. T. Cove), M. McVie, G. Ruthven, G. Rees, A. Johnston (rep.
S. Renwick), G. Jeffrey (rep. R. Conway), K. Connor, D. Lawson , C. Kemp (rep. D. Gray), B. Hoggan.

Referee — G. King (Hawick).