Colleges stand firm to thwart
AFTER blowing hot for their previous three games,
Selkirk picked Saturday’s Combined Tournament fixture against Stewart’s/Melville FP at Philiphaugh to blow cold.
Although gaining a bonus point by dint of being within seven points of the visitors’ total, this was of little
consolation at the end of thoroughly misery-inducing afternoon.
The biggest blow was undoubtedly the injury suffered by fly-half Guy Blair, who required hospital treatment after
breaking two bones in his hand, and who will now be ruled out for the rest of the season. Another cause for concern
was the neck injury suffered by prop Grant Ruthven, not least because fellow prop John McDonald travels south this
week to start a six-month work contract in Bournemouth, and won’t be turning out for Selkirk again in the current
However, these injuries apart, it was Selkirk’s lack of penetration behind the scrum - something which has
been an area of concern all season - that proved the deciding factor on the day. For despite having
the measure of Stewart’s/Melville up front, the home team simply couldn’t turn pressure into points, especially
in the later stages of the contest.
Another crucial blow to morale came when Stuart Bartwicki intercepted a pass which, if it had found its man, would
have resulted in a certain score for Selkirk. Instead the Stewart’s/Melville centre pinned his ears back and raced
the length of the field for a classic interception try.
Earlier the visitors had taken the lead when prop Danny Smidt powered his way over for a score, while a third try
by Donald Scott gave Colleges a slightly flattering 17-0 interval lead.
After the break Selkirk began to look more dangerous, but despite long periods of pressure could only muster two
penalties from the boot of David Cassidy and a try by back row man Alister Heatlie.
With a bit of luck prop Paul Lyons will be back to full fitness for Selkirk’s next game - a Border League fixture
against Peebles at Philiphaugh on Friday, March 28 - but the most pressing need is for the
Souters to regain their confidence and keep focused for their two other matches against Melrose and Berwick.
Photo G. Kinghorn
SELKIRK : D. Cassidy, N. Brown,
C. Cochrane, M. Jaffray, C. Hunter, G.
Blair (rep. A. Jamieson), M. McVie, J. McDonald, D. Hoggan, G. Ruthven
(rep. D. Lithgow), M. Barnett, D. Jackson, N. Darling (rep. M. de
Franck), A. Stevenson (rep. W. Gentleman), A. Heatlie.
Referee: Alan Williamson (Hawick).