SELKIRK BEGINS PREMIERSHIP CAMPAIGN WITH DESERVED WIN OVER GUTSY MUSSELBURGH SIDE

Skipper Ewan MacDougall crosses for Selkirk’s second try against Musselburgh at Philiphaugh on Saturday – much to the delight of team-mates Scott McClymont, Scott Clark and Donald Nichol.


Lock forward Thomas Brown gives his all as he bids to escape the clutches of Musselburgh’s two props.


Fly-half Callum Anderson crosses for Selkirk’s bonus point try with just two minutes left on the clock.


Selkirk newcomer Zenon Szwagrzak tries to burst past Musselburgh openside Jordon Lister, watched by Philiphaugh team-mate Andrew McColm. [Photos – GRANT KINGHORN PICS]

SELKIRK 32, MUSSELBURGH 21

AFTER falling behind three times to Musselburgh in the opening half-hour, a gem of a try right on halftime by home skipper Ewan MacDougall proved a pivotal moment in Saturday’s Tennent’s Premiership match at Philiphaugh.
Up until that point Selkirk’s players had conceded a string of penalties at the breakdown which, allied to some rock-solid defending by the visitors, had seen Musselburgh take a 9-8 lead through three Danny Owenson penalties.
Selkirk replied with a Scott Clark penalty and a well taken try in the left-hand corner by debutant wing Ben Pickles, who jinked inside his man to touch down after receiving a superbly timed tap-pass from full-back Ryan Cottrell.
Spurred on by this try, Selkirk then launched a series of attacks deep into Musselburgh territory, forcing the Stoneyhill men to concede three penalties. Rather than kick for goal, on each occasion Selkirk opted for a scrum, but couldn’t find a chink in the visitors’ defensive armour.
MacDougall’s scintillating try wasn’t too long in coming, however, and it was worth waiting for!
A switch to the stand side by Callum Anderson was followed by a powerful breenge upfield by new lock Thomas Brown (one of Selkirk’s best performers on the day).
The move was carried on by wing Frazer Anderson, who drew in two defenders before off-loading to Josh Mackay, who when stopped found MacDougall at his elbow for a superbly executed try. Clark’s conversion gave Selkirk a 15-9 halftime lead.
It was the Souters who made the livelier start after the break. A dart down the left by Selkirk openside Scott McClymont put the visitors on the back foot, and when the ball was spun right to Andrew Grant-Suttie, the strong-running centre burst past three would-be tacklers to score Selkirk’s third try.
Clark’s successful conversion stretched the home team’s lead to 22-9, after which the game went slightly off the boil.
In the 70th minute Musselburgh cut the deficit when prop Colin Arthur crashed over from close range, but soon afterwards a brilliant chip-and-chase by Callum Anderson saw the fly-half collect his own kick ahead to swerve round Rory Hindhaugh and score under the posts.
The try was converted by Clark, who moments earlier had kicked a penalty, but the visitors had the final say when wing Gregor Tait went over for a consolation score.
Afterwards Selkirk head coach Scott Wight told the selkirkrfc.com website: “This is the first time we’ve played together as a first XV, so we knew there were going to be mistakes and that players would be rusty.
“Some of the rugby today and some of the tries were excellent, but you’ve got to play like that for 80 minutes and not just in fits and starts.
“I think all the new recruits who’ve come into the side showed up well and have had a positive impact on the squad. There were no injuries and the other good thing was that we had two teams out today, which has got to be encouraging.”
The Four Seasons ‘Selkirk Man of the Match’ award went to Andrew Grant-Suttie.
SELKIRK: R. Cottrell; F. Anderson, J. Welsh, A. Grant-Suttie, B. Pickles; C. Anderson, S. Clark; L. Pettie, J. Mackay, B. Riddell, T. Brown, D. Nichol, A. McColm, S. McClymont, E. MacDougall. Replacements: A. Cochrane, K. Thomson, Z. Szwagrzak, R. Nixon, C. Young.
MUSSELBURGH: R. Hindhaugh; T. Foley, L. Brook, V. Kacori, G. Tait; D. Owenson, L. Kotze; N. McNairn, C. Owenson, C. Arthur, C. Champion, J. Haynes, M. Crawford, J. Lister, L. Hutson. Replacements: A. Forbes, D. Hodge, C. Pryde, M. McMillan, C. Veitch.

Referee: Ruaridh Campbell (SRU).

 Sponsors

.

.

 .

 .

  .

 

  .

3