SIX OF THE BEST! SELKIRK PLAYERS END FIVE-MATCH LOSING STREAK WITH MUCH-IMPROVED DISPLAY

Hooker James Bett dives over for Selkirk’s sixth try – much to the delight of team-mate Josh Welsh

Jack Hamilton fires out another quick pass as Selkirk build pressure in Aberdeen Grammar’s half.

Callum McNeill dives over in the corner, only to have what would have been his third try disallowed.

Skipper Ewan MacDougall finds his progress impeded by a determined Aberdeen Grammar defender.

Centre Ross Nixon gets ready to off-load the ball after being tackled by his opposite number.
[Photos – GRANT KINGHORN PICS]

SELKIRK 36, ABERDEEN GRAMMAR 10

In what was a must-win game for both sides, Selkirk eventually took the honours in Saturday’s Tennent’s Premiership contest, but were made to fight tooth and nail by a gutsy Aberdeen Grammar team who battled hard right up to the final whistle.
Having gone 17-0 ahead inside the first 18 minutes through tries by Callum Anderson, Callum McNeill and Ben Pickles, the latter converted by Scott Clark, Selkirk appeared set for a big score.
The visitors had other ideas, however. Upping the tempo and tightening their defensive set-up, it was Aberdeen’s players who increasingly took the game to the home team.
A close-range try by Glen Robertson converted by skipper Tom Aplin, who had earlier kicked a penalty, saw halftime arrive with Selkirk holding a 17-10 advantage.
In the second period Selkirk brought on replacements Andrew Bulman, Josh Welsh, Joe Anderson, Peter Forrest and Andrew Renwick (making his first appearance of the season), and the turning point finally came 10 minutes from time when Callum McNeill scampered over for his second try, following Ben Pickles’ inside break.
A piece of opportunism then saw Scott McClymont pounce on a spilled ball behind the visitors’ line for Selkirk’s fifth try, before a superb dummy from Callum Marshall – in imperious form throughout – allowed McNeill and Welsh to swap passes and send James Bett over for Selkirk’s final score.
The Souters’ victory sees the club climb to seventh place in the Premiership table, and ends a run of five successive defeats.
The home supporters will have been heartened to see the return of Josh Welsh from injury, as well as the first appearance in a Selkirk jersey of Southern Knights academy player Kieran Clark.
Another plus-point was Selkirk’s dominance at the line-out, with hooker James Bett being named the Four Seasons Forestry ‘Selkirk Man of the Match’ for his accurate throw-ins and high work rate in the loose.
After the match, head coach Scott Wight was clearly relieved to get back to winning ways. “We probably weren’t accurate enough with ball in hand, but having said that we scored some really good tries.
“Full credit to Aberdeen, who were dogged throughout and made it hard for us.
“It was nice to have some firepower on the bench today, and the win gives us some momentum to take into the match against Jed this Saturday.”
Scott also gave credit to the club’s volunteers who had helped get the Philiphaugh pitch in a playable condition. “Dennis Henderson made a great effort in organising people to come down with pitchforks to help release water from the worst-affected areas. Not having any more rain during the game obviously helped.
“Despite our recent results the boys have always stayed positive, and there hasn’t been any negative chat. We know that if we can field that team weekly we can get some big results.”
SELKIRK – C. Anderson, C. McNeill, B. Pickles, R. Nixon, K. Clark, S. Clark, J. Hamilton, L. Pettie, J. Bett, B. Riddell, T. Brown, C. Marshall, R. Cook, S. McClymont, E. MacDougall. Replacements: P. Forrest, J. Anderson, A. Renwick, J. Welsh, A. Bulman.
ABERDEEN – C. Shepherd, N. Brown, S. Ryan, T. Aplin, D. Russell, S. Knudson, A. Addy, C. Reddish, G. Robertson, M. Schosser, S. Renfrew, T. Morris, C. Walker, B. Inglis C. Buchan. Replacements: L. Buchan, A. Robertson, R. Cameron, P. Ritchie.

Referee:  Johnny Perriman (SRU).

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