GHA SNATCH COME-FROM-BEHIND WIN AS SELKIRK PLAYERS LEFT RUEING WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN

Andrew McColm scores Selkirk’s fourth try, to the delight of James Bett, Luke Pettie and Zen Szwagrzak.


Selkirk prop Bruce Riddell strains every sinew as he carries ball against GHA at Philiphaugh on Saturday.


James Bett in the thick of the action, with Clark Young (left) and Ross Nixon ready to lend support.

SELKIRK 24, GHA 27

THE Souters’ hopes of ending their Tennent’s Premiership campaign on a winning note were dashed in the dying seconds of Saturday’s match at Philiphaugh, when GHA snatched an injury-time try to clinch a dramatic victory.
It was no more than the visitors from Braidholm deserved. Trailing 24-10 midway through the second half, and with Selkirk pressing hard for a fifth try, the city side punished slack handling and some indifferent first-time tackles by the home team to score two runaway tries.
With the game deep into injury time, Selkirk again lost possession in GHA territory. The attack-minded visitors swept downfield and it was wing Benoit Jouary who dived over for the winning try, consigning the Souters to their 10th consecutive defeat.
No-one was more disappointed with Selkirk’s performance than head coach Scott Wight, who said after the final whistle that the manner of defeat just about summed up the Philiphaugh team’s season.
“We had plenty of territory and possession, and I think it just comes back to the confidence of players and trusting each other.
“We had three or four scoring opportunities in the second half that weren’t converted, and that’s why it’s ended up being so close.
“When you’re 24-15 up with nine minutes to go you think you’re where you want to be. Then two mistakes – a missed pass which GHA intercepted and went the length of the field, and a mistake in the middle where they’ve again gone the length – and the game’s completely changed.
“It’s not for a lack of effort by the players - you look at the effort Callum Anderson put in at the end to chase down one of their players and save a certain score. Credit to GHA who just ground us down in the end.
“I’ve just said to the boys in the huddle to remember we’re still in the Premiership. It’s not been ideal, but we get another chance for a crack at it next year, and aim to come back bigger, fitter and stronger.”
Both clubs have had major injury problems this season, with Selkirk using a total of 55 players in 1st XV games and GHA a total of 56.
The visitors took an early lead from a successful penalty from the boot of Adam Scott. Soon afterwards the Souters suffered a setback when skipper Ewan MacDougall was yellow-carded for what appeared to be a no-arms tackle. GHA took advantage by going 8-0 ahead thanks to a try by openside Dario Ewing.
The home supporters finally had something to cheer about when first Luke Pettie and then Ewan MacDougall scored tries, both converted by Callum Anderson, to put Selkirk 14-10 up.
In first half stoppage time Zen Szwagrzak, who had a fine game, rumbled over from a line-out maul to score his debut try for Selkirk and give his side a 19-10 interval lead.
After the break Selkirk continued to call the shots. A clean line-out take from Scott McClymont (who seconds earlier had been off the field receiving treatment), led to Andrew McColm peeling off the maul to touch down Selkirk’s bonus point try.
Now ahead by 14 points and camped deep in GHA territory, it seemed odds-on the home side would put the visitors to the sword.
GHA’s battling troops had other ideas, however, and tries from Sean Callaghan, Scott Carmichael and finally Benoit Jouary set the seal on a remarkable turnaround.
The Four Seasons Forestry ‘Selkirk Man of the Match’ award went to Zen Szwagrzak.
SELKIRK: J Hamilton; C Young, B Pickles, R Nixon, A Penman; C Anderson, S Clark; L Pettie, B Riddell, Z Szwagrzak, C Turnbull, Andrew McColm, J Bett, S McClymont, E MacDougall. Replacements: R Cook, M Haldane, D Broatch, Aaron McColm, E McVicker.
GHA: A Scott; B Jouary, C Lonergan, M MacFarlane, S Derrick; A Goudie, S Simpson; M Fox, A Falconer, B Boum, S Callaghan, J McCarthy, A Kerr, D Ewing, J Bruce. Replacements: S Fisher, M Ryan, S Carmichael, G Baird, L Bardelli.
Referee: Keith Allen (SRU).

Photos - GRANT KINGHORN PICS]

EDITED HIGHLIGHTS OF SELKIRK v. GHA TENNENT’S PREMIERSHIP MATCH, MARCH 5, 2022

(With grateful thanks to Borders Rugby TV)

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