Peebles 2nds 12, Selkirk 'A' 26

Selkirk 'A' maintain unbeaten league record with deserved bonus point victory at Peebles

Neil Cruikshank - scored try against his old club.

EVERYTHING came up roses for Selkirk 'A' at Violet Bank on Saturday, where a hard-fought victory over Peebles 2nds saw them extend their winning run in the Border Farm Supplies Championship.

In what proved a very physical match, Selkirk's forwards eventually managed to subdue a lively Peebles pack, with Callum Marshall outstanding both in the line-out and in the loose, while ex-Peebles flanker Neil Cruikshank made a big impact for the visitors when coming off the Selkirk bench.

Another solid display at stand-off by teenager Rory Banks helped steady the Selkirk ship in a rocky opening period for the visitors, while full-back Ciaran Beattie made a solid return after injury and skipper Fraser Jack showed his versatility by slotting in at centre.

It was Peebles who made the better start to the game, forcing a turnover in the 12th minute which led to a try by ????. Selkirk suffered another setback soon afterwards when Steven Renwick was yellow-carded following a high tackle.

A good break by Keith Connor was carried on by Callum Marshall and Fraser Jack, and from the resulting line-out the ball was spun wide to Tom Swan on the left wing, who dived over in the corner for the levelling score.

This try helped settle the visitors, and good work by John Everitt and Chris Kemp close to the Peebles line resulted in two penalty awards being successfully kicked by Ciaran Beattie, putting Selkirk 11-5 in front at the interval.

The visitors increased their lead five minutes into the second half. Peebles were awarded a scrum five metres from their own try line, but lost control of the ball and Neil Cruikshank pounced to score Selkirk's under the posts. Ciaran Beattie's conversion was, unusually, charged down.

Strong runs by Marshall and Cruikshank then took play deep into Peebles territory, and when a home forward was yellow-carded the Selkirk pack took full advantage by setting up a driving maul following saw Keith Connor's line-out take, resulting in a try for Callum Marshall.

With Selkirk again pressing on the home try line, a mix-up in the visitors' midfield saw Peebles fly-hack the ball the length of the pitch, with the referee awarding the home side a penalty try after Selkirk's defenders were adjudged to have illegally impeded the home player.

The match finished on a high note for the visitors, when replacement Darren Clapperton scorched 75 metres downfield in the final move of the match. Although stopped near the corner flag, he was able to fling the ball infield, where Rory Banks gratefully scooped it up and crashed over for the visitors' fourth try.

SELKIRK 'A' - C. Beattie, R. Henderson, G. Blair, F. Jack, T. Swan, R. Banks, S. Tough, P. Forrest, I. Walling, S. Renwick, C. Marshall, K. Connor, S. Nixon, C. Kemp, J. Everitt. Replacements: B. Reid, A. Millar, D. Clapperton, B. Wilkinson, N. Cruikshank.

Referees - D. Sinclair (St Boswells).