Dundee HSFP 27, Selkirk 19

Dunbar makes presence felt in comeback game, while Jones bags another brace of tries

HIGH FLIER. Selkirk lock Andrew Renwick leaps high to steal line-out possession in Saturday's match against Dundee HSFP at Mayfield.

HENDRIE IN A HURRY. Selkirk replacement Jason Hendrie prepares to hand off a Dundee defender in Saturday's game, while Lee Jones moves up in support. (Photos: Grant Kinghorn)

DESPITE slipping to their fourth successive league defeat, Selkirk's players turned in a much improved performance at Mayfield on Saturday. The passion and pride missing from previous contests was in evidence right from the kick-off, and but for an indifferent spell before and after halftime, the final scoreline might have made happier reading for Selkirk supporters.

After the match coach Kevin Barrie believed his players could take a lot of positives from the contest. "We got off to a much better start than of late, and showed far more confidence up front and in the threequarters. Match fitness was clearly an issue for those players coming back from injury, but overall I though we competed well.

"Unfortunately we let our guard slip for 15 minutes or so at the start of the second half, and Dundee were quick to capitalise with a couple of scores. Even so we had chances late in the game to put some more points on the board, but just lacked composure at critical times."

The return of Scotland under-20 centre Alex Dunbar to the Selkirk side gave the visitors a huge boost. The former Annan player looked in top form, regularly breaking the gain line and forcing a number of turnovers in the loose. No less effective was wing Lee Jones, whose mazy running split the Dundee defence time and again, and the elusive threequarter took his two tries brilliantly.

Up front, pack leader Rory Aglen gave a typically strong lead, whether in defence or in support of the ball carrier, while fellow lock Andrew Renwick and openside David Gray also put in a power of work over the whole 80 minutes.

Mayfield has never been a happy hunting ground for Selkirk over the years, but the visiting supporters must have thought their team's luck was about to change when Lee Jones put Selkirk's first points on the board with a superb solo try down the left flank. Scott Hendrie added the conversion, but was off-target with penalty attempts both before and after the score which would have stretched the Souters' lead.

Before halftime Dundee reduced the deficit with a try by Graham, and with the second half less then 10 minutes' old the home team took a lead they were never to relinquish thanks to tries from Warnock and Greig Ryan, one of which was converted by O'Donnell.

Although Selkirk kept their hopes alive with a try under the posts from skipper Michael McVie, who had an excellent game for the visitors despite sustaining a nasty head wound, home skipper Ritchie Hawkins struck a decisive blow by scoring Dundee's bonus point try in the final 10 minutes.

Soon afterwards another great touchdown from Lee Jones put the visitors in sight of a losing bonus point, but as the conversion kick drifted wide it became clear that this was going to turn out to be yet another disappointing day for the Philiphaugh men.

SELKIRK - F. Harkness, S. Hendrie, A. Dunbar, R. Nixon, L. Jones, G. Craig, M. McVie, G. Patterson, D. Grieve, D. Moussa, R. Aglen, A. Renwick, R. Crockatt, D. Gray, S. Tomlinson. Replacements: S. Forrest, M. Murray, J. Everitt, K. Connor, J. Hendrie.