Grangemouth 24, Selkirk 21

Grangemouth heap more misery on under-performing Selkirk team

THE last time Selkirk visited Glensburgh, the Philiphaugh team somehow managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, after seemingly having the match sewn up at halftime. Such was the trauma generated by that result, that the Souters went on to lose their remaining seven premiership fixtures.
Although Selkirk never achieved quite the ascendancy over Grangemouth on Saturday as they had done a year ago, the emotional impact at the end of 80 minutes was still the same — delight in the home camp for an unexpected victory, dejection in the visitors’ dressing room after yet another lacklustre display.
The two major areas of concern for Selkirk - highlighted in the recent heavy defeats against Gala and Watsonians -remain the lack of penetration in the threequarters, and a propensity to leak soft tries.
Grangemouth’s players could hardly believe their good fortune when a succession of defensive errors allowed skipper Scott McKechnie, Donald Hughes and centre Andrew Hayes to to cross for tries. By contrast the home defences proved far tougher to break down, thereby nullifying the good work carried out by Selkirk’s pack, who won plenty of possession both in set piece and open play.
Once again it was teenage wing Craig Hunter who proved the visitors’ ace card, the talented ex-Selkirk Youth Club threequarter managing to grab a brace of tries, taking his personal haul of touchdowns to seven in the past five matches.
A far less inspiring statistic appears in the ‘tries for and against’ column. In their first three matches of the season Selkirk managed to score eight tries while conceding only three. In their three most recent games, Selkirk have only scored four tries, while conceding no fewer than 13 tries.
Clearly changes will have to be made by Selkirk’s selectors for thisSaturday’s home fixture against Kirkcaldy. Anything less than a win will effectively end the Philiphaugh team’s promotion push before it has evenstarted.

SELKIRK: F. Jack, B. Armstrong, D. Cassidy, K. Saunders, C. Hunter, G.
Blair, S. Tomlinson, J. McDonald, E. Robbie, M. Murray, M. Barnett, D.
Jackson, B. Gentleman, F. Stevenson, M. de Franck. Replacements used:
C. Forster, D. Hoggan, P. Lyons.

Referee: B. Bell (Morgan Acad. FP).