Boroughmuir 24, Selkirk 32

A time to stand up and be counted… and Selkirk players pass test with flying colours

HAPPY CLAPPY. Teenage wing Darren Clapperton clearly enjoyed being back at Meggetland - the ground where he made his senior debut for Selkirk eight months ago, while still a Youth Club player. Darren is pictured on his way to scoring Selkirk's bonus point try in Friday night's game. (Photo: Grant Kinghorn)

"There was a good feeling in the dressing room before we went out," Selkirk coach Kevin Barrie told the web site after the final whistle, "and I'm delighted by the way the boys managed to up their game after last weekend's disappointing result against Hawick.

"The players' attitude tonight was spot-on, and their confidence so high that even losing Rob Taylor after 15 minutes of the game didn't disrupt our game plan. Everybody played their part tonight, from number one right through to number 20, and our supporters must have been delighted to see the boys perform with so much spirit and passion."

Selkirk survived a shaky start which saw Boroughmuir camp on the visitors' 22 for most of the opening 10 minutes. However, the Souters finally managed to break the shackles, and took the lead in the 14th minute when full-back Fraser Harkness raced over for a try near the left corner following Andrew Renwick's textbook scrum pick-up and feed.

Two minutes later, prop Rob Taylor repeated the dose when he was driven over for a try by the Selkirk pack from a line-out. Michael Rutherford's conversion put the visitors 12-0 ahead. However, the game had barely restarted when Taylor was red-carded by the referee for alleged foul play at a ruck, and suddenly things looked a lot less rosy for the Philiphaugh men.

Flanker Callum Johnston was called to the sidelines to allow Martin Murray to take over in the front row. Despite this setback, Selkirk stretched their lead from a Rutherford penalty, before Boroughmuir exploited their numerical superiority when Lynton Brynck crossed for a try converted by Elgan O'Donnell.

In the dying seconds of the first half, Rutherford was just short with a penalty attempt which was caught by Mark Hare. However, the home centre immediately found himself engulfed by Selkirk players, and when the ball squirted from his grasp it was seized by Andrew Renwick, who promptly dived over the line for a try. Rutherford's conversion took the interval score to 22-7 in the visitors' favour.

Early in the second half Selkirk were hit by another setback - Ross Nixon being yellow-carded for illegally halting Ed Mills. This allowed 'Muir's pack to up the ante, and it came as no surprise when Bronson Ross crossed for a try which O'Donnell again converted.

To their credit Selkirk's players refused to be fazed, and when Rutherford's garryowen caused uncertainty in the home defences, Darren Clapperton reacted swiftly to scoop up the loose ball and sprint 40 metres for an opportunist try which Rutherford converted.

This score had a galvanising effect on the Boroughmuir team, who proceeded to cross for late tries through Nick Fraser and Ed Mills (the latter when Selkirk were again down to 13 men following the yellow-carding of skipper Michael McVie). O'Donnell could only add one of the conversions, however, and the joy on the Selkirk players' faces when the referee blew for no-side was a sight to behold.

Selkirk back row player Ryan Crockatt made a successful comeback following a lengthy injury lay-off, while Kiwi lock Jon Smyth carried the ball well and made his presence felt at the rucks, and looks to be developing into a key figure in the Philiphaugh pack.

MEGGETLAND has never been a happy hunting ground for Selkirk over the years, but all that changed on Friday evening, when the Philiphaugh players turned in a battling display to register a victory which lifts them to eighth place in Premier One.

SELKIRK - F. Harkness, D. Clapperton, S. Hendrie, R. Nixon, L. Jones, M. Rutherford, M. McVie, G. Patterson, D. Grieve, R. Taylor, J. Smyth, S. Willet, N. Darling, C. Johnston, A. Renwick. Replacements: G. Craig, D. Moussa, M. Murray, S. Forrest, R. Crockatt.