Selkirk 'A' 32, Haddington 'A' 8

Selkirk 'A' bounce back from Gala defeat with hard-fought victory over Haddington

HAVE BALL, WILL CARRY. Selkirk wing Bob Wilkinson manages to keep his feet despite the attention of a clutch of Haddington players in Saturday's game on the Burnmill pitch. (Photo: Grant Kinghorn)

DESPITE Saturday's match having an early kick-off time of 11.30am, it was business as usual for the Selkirk 'A' and Haddington 'A' players, who served up an entertaining and highly competitive Border Farm Supplies Championship contest in front of a sizeable crowd on the Burnmill pitch.

The visitors' big and experienced pack tested Selkirk's defences throughout the match, but to their credit the home forwards raised their game to meet this challenge head-on, with the home side's young number eight Rob McGregor typifying the Souters' never-say-die spirit with a gutsy display.

The game was also notable for the successful comebacks of centre Ross Nixon and flanker Ryan Crockatt, both of whom have been recuperating from injury over the past few weeks.

It took Selkirk just three minutes to open the scoring when Tom Swan's burst up the left touchline was finished off in style by Andrew Millar, who touched down despite the attentions of a Haddington defender. Fifteen minutes later Millar repeated the feat, this time stand-off Rory Banks' clever inside break and Darren Clapperton's support play paving the way for the flanker's try. Banks converted to put Selkirk 12-0 ahead.

Haddington hit back with a try from Lars Hansen followed by a Nick Bell penalty, but on the stroke of halftime a 40-metre break by Bob Wilkinson led to a successful penalty kick from Banks, giving Selkirk a 15-8 lead at the interval.

Ten minutes into the second half it looked as though Millar had scored his third try, but Keith Connor's final pass was adjudged forward. A score was only slightly delayed, however, and prop Steven Renwick emulated his younger brother's feat of the previous night by rounding off some clever lead-up work by Martin Murray, Ryan Crockatt and Ross Nixon to score a try out on the right.

Banks converted, and shortly afterwards kicked a second penalty following a bout of slick passing between Ryan Crockatt, Alistair Lyall and David Gray, to stretch the home side's lead to 25-8.

With time running out Selkirk clinched an all-important bonus point when Murray's quickly taken tap penalty saw Ryan Crockatt cap his comeback appearance with a try near the posts. Banks' successful conversion brought the curtain down on a satisfying and well deserved victory.

SELKIRK - D. Scott, B. Wilkinson, D. Clapperton, A. Lyall, T. Swan, R. Banks, F. Jack, I. Walling, S. Forrest, S. Renwick, K. Connor, C. Marshall, A. Millar, D. Gray, R. McGregor. Replacements: R. Nixon, M. Murray, K. Reid, R. Crockatt.

Referee - J. Dun (Melrose).