MELROSE IN THE DRIVING SEAT AT THE GREENYARDS, AS SELKIRK UNABLE TO GET OUT OF FIRST GEAR


Selkirk skipper Ewan MacDougall on the charge in Friday night’s Border League match against Melrose.

[Photos – GRANT KINGHORN PICS]


MELROSE 43, SELKIRK 5

ANY hopes Selkirk entertained of getting back to winning ways at the Greenyards on Friday night quickly evaporated, as a well-drilled Melrose team outclassed the visitors in almost every department.
This victory puts the Greenyards side at the top of the Border League’s Pool B with six points and no remaining fixtures. The final pool match sees Selkirk entertain Kelso at Philiphaugh on Friday, February 25.
An unprecedented spate of injuries meant Selkirk came into Friday night’s match with no fewer than four young debutants in their squad – Ryan Legge, Thomas Martin, Finlay Wheelans and Monroe Job. Meanwhile a further three players - Moray Haldane, Liam Davidson and Declan Broatch - were all making their first starts for the club.
Selkirk’s supporters will have been pleased to see skipper Ewan MacDougall back at number eight following a spell of self-isolation, while scrum-half Ethan McVicker was given the all-clear to play after passing a fitness test at training the previous evening.
Selkirk’s forwards found it difficult to get to grips with the Melrose pack’s drive and physicality, and the dynamism of Ruairidh Lindsay, Sam Derrick and Craig Fairbairn in the back row laid the foundations for the home pack’s dominance.
Melrose kept their foot on the accelerator throughout the 80 minutes, scoring a total of seven tries through Robin Sharp (2), Sam Derrick (2), Gav Wood, Finn Douglas and Zander Ramage, with the latter adding four conversions.
Selkirk’s sole try was scored by replacement wing Archie Penman, his first for the club.
One plus-point for the visitors was the performance of 17-year-old Monroe Job, who was brought off the replacements bench at half-time. The young back row player was always to be found in the thick of the action, managing to force a number of important turnovers for the Souters, and looking a real prospect for the future.
MELROSE – D. Crawford, L. Mallin, G. McWilliam, G. Wood, F. Douglas, Z. Ramage, B. Colvine, J. Dobie, L. Kirk, C. Cruikshanks, R. McConnell, A. Runciman, R. Lindsay, S. Derrick, C. Fairbairn. Replacements: R. Ferguson, W. Ferrie, W. Owen, E. Lindsay, M. Bertram, E. Ruthven, R. Sharp, I. Chisholm.
SELKIRK – J. Hamilton, L. Davidson, C. McNeill, R. Nixon, S. Cockburn, S. Clark, E. McVicker, M. Haldane, J. Bett, Z. Szwagrzak, T. Brown, D. Broatch, A. McColm, S. McClymont, E. MacDougall. Replacements: M. Francis, L. Pettie, B. Riddell, R. Cook, M. Job, R. Legge, T. Martin, F. Wheelans, A. Penman.

Openside flanker Scott McClymont does his best to try and find a way through the Melrose defence.

Selkirk’s Jack Hamilton, selected at full-back, sets off on a run out of defence to try and relieve pressure.

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