NORTHERN LIGHTS UNDIMMED, AS SELKIRK’S SEARCH FOR ELUSIVE VICTORY CONTINUES

Aaron McColm – made welcome comeback appearance.

ABERDEEN GRAMMAR 25, SELKIRK 17

DESPITE having taken a 17-7 lead midway through the first half, a below par second half display saw Selkirk slip to their ninth straight defeat, with hosts Aberdeen deservedly recording only their second league win of the season.
With both sides considerably below strength – Selkirk’s coaches reckoning they had no fewer than 15 senior squad members unavailable – it was the Rubislaw players who showed the greater determination, denying the visitors possession for prolonged periods after the break.
If there were plus-points for the Souters, then the sight of their Scotland Club XV fly-half, Aaron McColm, coming off the bench for the final 30 minutes of the contest was perhaps the most satisfying.
Way back in August, In Selkirk’s first competitive fixture of this season – a friendly against Kelso at Philiphaugh - the talented 24-year-old sustained a ‘subluxation’, a partial or incomplete dislocation of the shoulder.
His long rehab regime now over, supporters at Philiphaugh will be hoping Aaron is available for the upcoming spring sevens circuit.
Other bright spots for the visitors included a 1st XV debut for 19-year-old back row player Blair Shiell, in what was his first game of the season, plus openside flanker Jamie Turnbull making his start for Selkirk’s 1st XV.
The visitors were caught cold almost immediately from the kick-off – Patrick Mulholland scoring a try for the visitors following a rolling maul, with Sam Knudson adding the conversion.
A penalty try awarded following a scrum on Aberdeen’s 5-metre line saw Selkirk draw level at 7-7, and soon afterwards tries by Ben Pickles (his seventh of the season) and Callum McNeill put the visitors 17-7 ahead.
The home side hit back through an interception try by Knudson and another score by Craig Shepherd, converted by Knudson, edging Aberdeen 19-17 ahead at the interval.
The game developed into a one-sided affair after the break, with Aberdeen showing the greater intent and extending their lead through two Knudson penalties.
There was no further scoring, and although Aberdeen Grammar have already been relegated, and next season will play their rugby in Tennent’s National 1, on Saturday’s showing they may be down, but they’re certainly not out.
ABERDEEN GRAMMAR: S Rutledge; C Shepherd, D Russell, S Ryan, B Renton; S Knudson, M Running; Y Ahmananache, G Robertson, L Buchan, C Walker, C McCall, P Mullholland, B Inglis. C Buchan. Replacements: A Glen, J Burnett, S Renfrew, A Fitzgerald, A McFarlane.
SELKIRK: C Anderson; C McNeill, B Pickles, R Nixon, A Penman; S Clark, E McVicker. L Pettie, J Bett, Z Szwagrzak, Andrew McColm, D Broatch, R Cook, J Turnbull, E MacDougall. Replacements: T Maguire, M Haldane, B Shiell, Aaron McColm, G Nicol.
Referee: Calum Worsley.

*******

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