Selkirk 50, Hillhead-Jordanhill 15

Hillhead-Jordanhill stunned by Selkirk's superior firepower

MARTIN'S MOMENT. Selkirk scrum-half Michael McVie signals to referee Willie Anderson (hidden by Ewen Robbie) that team-mate Martin Murray has scored Selkirk's seventh try in Saturday's 50-15 victory over Hillhead-Jordanhill. (Picture: Grant Kinghorn)

HAVING suffered back-to-back defeats, Selkirk rediscovered their winning touch in thrilling style at Philiphaugh on Saturday, running eight tries past visitors Hillhead-Jordanhill to record their highest-ever Premiership score.

The match proved a fitting send-off for the club's mercurial Kiwi wing Simon Murdoch, who has returned to New Zealand this week after five seasons as a Selkirk player. True to form the 24-year-old Christchurch flyer - who led the Selkirk team out on to the pitch - signed off in style with a typically gutsy try in the second half.

Both teams had injury problems before kick-off. Selkirk prop Ben Rawcliffe failed a fitness test on the morning of the match, to be replaced by Rob Taylor, while Hillhead-Jordanhill's New Zealand lock Marty Lane aggravated an injury in the warm-up and had to sit out the entire match… leaving the visitors with just three replacements.

Playing with the breeze at their backs, it took Selkirk just seven minutes to open the scoring. Murdoch fed Fraser Harkness on a diagonal run, and the full-back chipped the ball behind his opposite number before gathering cleanly and diving over for the score.

Shortly afterwards Hillhead-Jordanhill's Kiwi flanker Scott Millar (who had moved to the second row) was yellow-carded by referee Willie Anderson after Steven Renwick had been laid low at a line-out. The city team suffered further punishment when home skipper Scott Jeffrey picked up at the next scrum and powered his way over for Selkirk's second try.

After the restart Ryan Crockatt went down injured, forcing Renwick to take a line-out throw while the hooker received treatment. David Cassidy then broke wide on the right, the move being carried on by Scott Hendrie and Harkness, before Martin Murray powered towards the line and slipped the ball to Cassidy, who scored in the corner. Michael Rutherford added his third conversion to put the home side 21-0 ahead.

At this point Ryan Crockatt had to retire with a badly twisted knee, Ewen Robbie coming on as his replacement (Gordon Patterson having replaced Rob Taylor in the front row just minutes earlier).

The city visitors now enjoyed their best spell of pressure, pinning the home team on their own try line thanks to a series of rolling mauls. Having penalised Selkirk three times for illegally pulling down the ball-carrier, the referee then sent Neil Darling to the sin bin for the same offence.

Hill-Jordanhill took full advantage, scoring a try through Kieran Powell at the very next line-out to cut the deficit to 21-5, and this was the way the scores remained at halftime.

During the interval the visitors returned to their dressing room, where the players were treated to a no-holds-barred rollicking from coach Bill Macdonald. His words had an immediate effect, for within two minutes Scott Weston had kicked a penalty after David Paterson had come close to scoring following a strike against the head.

Stung by this setback, Selkirk stepped up a gear, with Denver Rumney putting in some ferocious tackles and Jeffrey urging his troops to greater effort.

Some dazzling inter-passing and support play by the home threequarters then saw Harkness score his second try of the afternoon, and moments later the same player cleverly combined with Ciaran Beattie up the left touchline before Beattie gathered his own kick and dived over for a try to put Selkirk 33-8 in front.

Five minutes from time a quickly taken tap penalty by Alistair Dickson allowed Simon Murdoch to somehow scramble past two defenders for a try in the corner.

Although Hillhead-Jordanhill hit back with a score by Paterson, Selkirk underlined their superiority with two tries in injury time from Martin Murray and Michael McVie, the latter being superbly converted by Michael Rutherford to bring up Selkirk's half-century.

SELKIRK - C. Beattie, S. Hendrie, D. Cassidy, A. Dickson, S. Murdoch, M. Rutherford, M. McVie, R. Taylor, R. Crockatt, M. Murray, N. Darling, S. Renwick, J. Ross, D. Rumney, S. Jeffrey. Replacements (all used): G. Patterson, E. Robbie, K. Connor, S. Hendrie.

Referee - W. Anderson (Waid Academy).