Selkirk Stormers 37, Melrose Knights 32

Stormers stage second half rally to win first crusade against Melrose Knights

PASS MARKS. Scott Tough feeds the Stormers' threequarter line in Saturday's match against Melrose Knights at Philiphaugh, watched by flanker Kieran Reid.

THERE were great celebrations in the Selkirk Stormers' camp on Saturday afternoon, after the home team clinched its first win of the season against a strong Melrose Knights side in the Border Development Cup seventh place play-off.

In the opening period the Stormers found themselves having to defend stoutly, with Melrose scoring an unconverted try after seven minutes. The visitors then went on to notch another two touchdowns, one of which was converted.

With halftime looming, Selkirk hit back with two tries of their own - one from Ryan Henderson and one from Scott Tough, the latter converted by Michael Rutherford. Just before the interval Peter Forrest was yellow-carded, and Melrose kicked the resultant penalty to put the visitors 20-12 ahead at the break.

The Stormers turned in a much more confident display in the second half, scoring four tries through Brendan Reid, Ryan Henderson, Jason Hendrie and Craig Monks, with Bruce Anderson adding a conversion and a penalty. Melrose scored two more tries, converting one.

With Selkirk A's game against Peebles 2nds having been called off, this gave the Stormers' selectors a much bigger squad to pick from. It also made a pleasant change for the coaches on the touchline to have a full bench of replacements at their disposal, allowing them to give some of the lads a well earned breather,

Star of the afternoon was Stormers threequarter Ryan Henderson, who seemed to relish the presence of some of the A XV's backs alongside him in the team. His support play was first class, allowing him to pick up two tries. However, full credit must go to all the Selkirk players for their never-say-die attitude to the game.

RUD REVIVAL. Stormers replacement Michael Rutherford keeps the home team on the front foot against Melrose Knights on Saturday. (Photos: Grant Kinghorn)

STORMERS - C. Monks, M. Cockburn, J. Graham, R. Henderson, D. McFadzen, S. Tough, B. Anderson, C. Henderson, S. Rodgerson, B. Reid, C. Ward, M. Dogan, D. Purves, K. Reid, R. McGregor.. Replacement: W. McClymont , B. Amos, J. Hendrie, M. Rutherford, P. Forrest, S. Renwick, B. Wilkinson, F. Jack, F. Tough.

Referee - T. Heard (Jed-Forest).