Selkirk 23 Ayr 34

Selkirk errors prove costly as Ayr take full advantage

ĎSO near and yet so farí just about sums up Selkirkís season so far, and nothing changed when promotion challengers Ayr visited Philiphaugh on Saturday.
Indeed the writing was on the wall as early as the first minute of the game. Ayrís blindside flanker Steve Heaton collected the ball straight
from the kick-off, and proceeded to run through the challenges of at least five home defenders before eventually being stopped just short of the line.
Not only did the former Jed-Forest playerís run expose one of Selkirkís biggest weaknesses this year - indecisive first-time tackling - it must also have given a considerable psychological boost to the men from Millbrae, who from then on proceeded to run at the Selkirk defence as often as possible. Even so, Selkirkís forwards again showed plenty of appetite for the fray against bigger and heavier opponents, and satisfyingly held their own in set piece play, with Aussie Matt de Franck again controlling the line-outs.
Ayrís ability to take their chances and punish Selkirk mistakes paid handsome dividends when playing into the wind in the first half.
Visiting skipper Graham Ferguson was first to cross the home try line, followed 10 minutes later by Stewart Margorian, while No. 8 Eddie
Manawaitti compounded the home sideís misery with his teamís third try just on halftime. Ayrís total was completed with three conversions and two penalties from the boot of Andy Reid.
Selkirk replied with a touchdown from de Franck, who was driven over the line by his back row colleague Craig Forster.
Despite showing more penetration after the break, with de Franck getting his second try and Craig Hunter also touching down, Selkirkís chances of securing a bonus [point were shattered when Margorian collected his second try of the afternoon to secure a bonus point for Ayr. Selkirkís other points came from two penalties and a conversion from stand-off Guy Blair. Given this error-strewn display, Selkirk cannot take anything for granted when Ellon come calling in this Saturdayís BT Cellnet Cup tie at Philiphaugh.

SELKIRK ó N. Brown, M. Jaffray , K. Saunders, S. Tomlinson, C. Hunter,
G. Blair, F. Jack, P. Lyons (rep. J. McDonald, 62 mins), D. Hoggan, M.
Murray , M. Barnett, D. Jackson, C. Forster, F. Stevenson, M. de Franck.

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