MARR HAVE UPPER HAND AT TROON, BUT SELKIRK TAKE HEART FROM FINE SECOND HALF COMEBACK

Ryan Cottrell – showed class by scoring try in comeback appearance. [Photo – GRANT KINGHORN PICS]

MARR 25, SELKIRK 18

WITH both sides understrength and out of action since early December, Saturday’s Tennent’s Premiership fixture at Fullarton Park was always going to be an intriguing match-up.
In the event it was the hosts who took maximum points to underline their play-off credentials, although Selkirk were well worth their bonus point - never losing their self-belief, even when trailing 20-8 midway through the second half.
The visiting coaches must have been particularly encouraged by the excellent comeback performances of full-back Ryan Cottrell and prop Moray Haldane.
Out for the past 18 weeks after dislocating his AC joint against Hawick in September, 21-year-old Cottrell quickly adapted to the pace of the game, capping a confident display by crossing for Selkirk’s opening try.
Meanwhile Moray Haldane’s introduction off the bench midway through the first half helped tighten up Selkirk’s scrummaging, and the 19-year-old prop certainly looked to be relishing being back in the fray.
Less welcome was the hand injury sustained in the second half by Selkirk centre Andrew Grant-Suttie. A post-match hospital X-ray revealed a significant fracture in the player’s right index finger, which will keep him sidelined for several weeks.
A penalty from the boot of Scott Clark saw Selkirk take an early lead, but the home team hit back with tries from Blair Jardine and Jack Scott. Cottrell’s try saw the teams head to the dressing room at halftime with Marr 10-8 ahead.
In the second half a try by home prop William Farquhar, plus a penalty and conversion from Colin Sturgeon, put Marr firmly in the driving seat.
Selkirk skipper Ewan MacDougall rallied his troops for an all-out assault on the Marr line, and in the final quarter tries by Callum Anderson and Callum McNeill – the latter following Jack Hamilton’s quickly taken tap penalty – took the Souters to within seven points of their hosts.
This coming Saturday, Selkirk travel to Edinburgh to take on third-placed Edinburgh Accies at Raeburn Place.
MARR: D Steele; G Montgomery, J Shedden, S Bickerstaff, J Scott; C Sturgeon, S Broad; C Miller, B Jardine, W Farquhar, J McLean, K Kirk, J Evans, R Brown, F Grant. Replacements: B Nichol, S Adair, B Sweet, C Inglis, N Calder.
SELKIRK: R Cottrell; C McNeill, C Anderson, A Grant-Suttie, A Penman; S Clark, J Hamilton; L Pettie, B Riddell, M Haldane, T Brown, A McColm, R Cook, S McClymont, E MacDougall. Replacements: A Cochrane, J Anderson, R McFadzen, C Young, L Davidson.
Referee: Ruairidh Campbell.

+ To view Jon Pearce’s photos from Saturday’s Marr v. Selkirk game, please follow this link - https://www.marrrugby.com/photos/1004051/26014263.html

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