Falkirk 0 Selkirk 8

HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? Falkirk's players appear shell-shocked as Selkirk No. 8 Scott Tomlinson (hidden) scores a try in the dying seconds of Saturday's fifth round Scottish Hydro Electric Cup tie at Sunnyside to seal Selkirk's 8-0 victory. Looking on is Selkirk centre Alistair Lyall, who provided the scoring pass. Selkirk's other points came from a David Cassidy penalty. [Picture: Grant Kinghorn]

Scottish Hydro Electric Cup 5th Round Saturday 1st March 2008

Sunnyside was the venue for Selkirk's latest Cup game, although it proved to be anything but sunny. The quagmire of a pitch made running rugby almost impossible and Selkirk faced a stiff breeze in the first half against a very competent Falkirk outfit. They have already clinched a place in Premiership 3 next season, their fifth promotion in as many years and put Premier 2 team, Hillhead-Jordanhill to the sword in the previous round.
Selkirk lost the services of Scotland Under-20's winger, Lee Jones with a painful ankle injury after only 5 minutes play bringing Jason Hendrie into early action as substitute. Falkirk stormed into the attack and Selkirk had to defend well. The passages of play were conducted exclusively in the visitor's half during the first quarter. However, Falkirk fell foul of the referees whistle on numerous occasions thereby allowing the Souters to clear the danger areas. The Sunnysiders were reduced to 14 men when the referee brought out the yellow-card for repeated infringements and Selkirk gradually worked play upfield with Falkirk having to defend their line for a change. Ex-Caledonian Reds and Bourgoin stand-off, Mark McKenzie triggered off a blistering Falkirk attack from deep inside his own 22 and Jason Hendrie brought out a superb tackle to save the day. Selkirk centre, Ross Armstrong then stormed through from midfield and almost broke the deadlock. Full-Back, David Cassidy had the opportunity to put points on the board for Selkirk after 25 minutes but his long range effort fell just short. With half time approaching Falkirk kept running the ball when it may have been the better option to kick for position given the glutinous underfoot conditions. Their forwards, with veteran Scotland hooker, Kevin McKenzie and skipper Bob Wyllie always to the fore, were matching up well. However, Selkirk's captain, Neil Darling was equally prominent with Eddie Gauche, Rory Aglen, Martin Murray and Scott Tomlinson all contributing effectively in the pack. The interval score line of 0-0 came as a relief to the large travelling support.
Falkirk had an early chance to notch up 3 points in the 2nd half, but Mark McKenzie's penalty attempt slid wide. The conditions were simply not conducive to place kicking. However, Cassidy managed to master the elements with a fine strike after several phases of controlled play by the Souters had earned a penalty. Darling was then yellow carded to put pressure back on the visitors again and McKenzie spurned a penalty kick opportunity in front of the posts to punt into touch at the corner. The swirling wind carried the ball dead and a relieved Selkirk retained their important, albeit narrow, lead. Cassidy missed a couple of long range kicks at goal from penalty awards but Falkirk were unable to make much impression into the wind. Flanker Calum McAskill had a storming run to excite the Falkirk fans but Selkirk's defence held firm and looked quite comfortable for the remainder of the game. The visitors made better use of the wind to keep the play deep in Falkirk territory. A last ditch attempt to move the ball wide from their 22 backfired for Falkirk when Scott Tomlinson seized on a spillage, gathered and crashed over for a try in the corner. All credit to the recently promoted Falkirk team for putting up such a valiant battle and they will certainly add value to the Premiership next season. As for Selkirk, they managed to progress through to the next round of the Cup without conceding a point against a well structured Falkirk team. Both sets of players deserve medals for persevering in mud bath conditions. The final score: Falkirk 0 Selkirk 8.

If you would like to view more photographs of saturday's game against Falkirk, click this link courtesy of G.Honeyman Falkirk Rugby Club

Falkirk RFC v Selkirk RFC Photogallery