Hawick 24 SELKIRK 3

Hawick too street-wisefor battling Selkirk

AFTER the highs of their dramatic cup tie against Boroughmuir, Selkirk’s players were brought down to earth in no uncertain terms in Saturday’s Border League match against Hawick at Mansfield Park.
Even though the visitors’ forwards again showed plenty of commitment, and never threw in the towel in the face of some fierce and bruising exchanges, behind the scrum it was a different story. Selkirk’s much-changed threequarter line never looked like matching the speed and penetration of their opposite numbers, and as a result Selkirk failed to
register a try for the second consecutive match.
However, the game was overshadowed by a serious injury to Selkirk prop Martin Murray, who had to be stretchered from the field in the 55th minute. The problem was diagnosed as a fracture of the fibula, and he was taken by ambulance to the Borders General Hospital. Up until his departure the Scottish Borders development squad member had been in fine form, replicating the barnstorming close-quarter driving which had proved so effective against Boroughmuir.
Hawick also experienced injury problems. Skipper Matt Landles had to retire early in the first half after taking a knock, while stand-off Neil Stenhouse limped off after half an hour with a leg problem, his place being taken by Robert Currie.
Back at his former club, Selkirk number eight Fred Stevenson gave a whole-hearted display, while lock Dwayne Jackson put in a power of work both in loose and set-piece play, with Matt de Franck again holding his own in the line-out.
Although visiting skipper Scott Tomlinson did his level best to keep the Selkirk show on the road, hitting up the middle and relieving pressure situations with long line kicks, ultimately the combination of turnovers and a lack of incisive attack capability behind the scrum handed the initiative to Hawick, who grew in confidence as the match progressed. Even so it was Selkirk who made the livelier start, Allen Jamieson almost intercepting a loose Hawick pass which would have given him a clear run to the home try line. As it was, Selkirk put the first points on the board when Tomlinson landed a penalty after Hawick had been penalised for offside. Stenhouse replied in kind for the Greens, and just before the interval Joe Pattison capped a spell of intense pressure on the Selkirk line by cutting through for a well worked try. Craig Neish converted to give Hawick a 10-3 interval lead.
After the break Hawick’s pack began to win more ball, and as a result the home threequarters’ slick handling skills and pacy running out wide kept the visitors’ defence at full stretch. Hawick went further ahead in the 60th minute, when left wing Cammy Bruce was up in support to score close to the posts. The same player finished off the best move of the match soon afterwards for his second touchdown, with replacement kicker Neish making adding both conversions.
All in all a frustrating afternoon for Selkirk, who will have to face Biggar in the league this Saturday with a worryingly long injury list.

SELKIRK — N. Brown, A. Jamieson, G. Lyall, M. Jaffray, S. Murdoch (rep.
B. Armstrong), S. Tomlinson, F. Jack, J. McDonald, P. Lyons, M. Murray
(rep. G. Ruthven), N. Darling (rep. D. Lithgow), D. Jackson, M. de
Franck, C. Forster (rep. A. Heatlie), F. Stevenson.

Referee: D. Changleng (Gala).

Dwayne Jackson manages to secure possession for Selkirk at this line-out during Saturday’s match at Mansfield Park.

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