TOMMY SPINKS is selected at blindside flanker in a typically competitive back-row, with Lewis Wynne of Stirling County, Neil Irvine-Hess of Melrose and Dan Marek of Boroughmuir all unlucky to miss out. Thomas Gordon was the outstanding player on the park in the Chieftains’ battling success at Marr so gets the open-side slot, and Ally Miller was majestic for Melrose at number eight.
Both Melrose props make the team after a dominant display against Heriot’s, just as two Ayr props were selected after playing against the same opposition last week. Could this be related to Heriot’s de-powering their scrum by selecting back-row forwards in the middle row? Mind you, it is a bit rich to suggest that here given we have selected Jack Turley of Heriot’s in the engine-room, on the basis of his second hat-trick of the season. He actually played more than three-quarters of the match in the back-row after Jack McLean’s early departure.
Hamilton Burr of Stirling County and the Currie Chieftains duo of Mike Vernel and Vince Wright were all unlucky not to take the other second-row slots, but Jamie Hodgson was outstanding for Watsonians.
In the back-line, Stafford McDowall carried on his good form of last week with two tries down in Hawick, and this time edges ahead of Robbie Nelson into the number twelve jersey. He has Rory Hutton alongside him at outside centre after a masterful display of elegant running for Watsonians in their derby win over Boroughmuir.
The ever-reliable Jonny Hope gets some well earned recognition at stand-off, partnering Ali Harris of Watsonians at Scrum-half, and Glasgow Warriors pro Niko Matawalu is on the wing – which is quite tough on Gary Munro of Hawick, who scored two tries during his team’s defeat to Ayr.
15. Fraser Thomson (Melrose)
14. Niko Matawalu (Stirling County)
13. Rory Hutton (Watsonians)
12. Stafford McDowall (Ayr)
11. Sam Pecqueur (Melrose)
10. Jonny Hope (Stirling County)
9. Ali Harris (Watsonians)
1. Grant Shiells (Melrose)
2. Lewis Anderson (Ayr)
3. Nick Beavon (Melrose)
4. Jamie Hodgson (Watsonians)
5. Jack Turley (Heriot’s)
6. Tommy Spinks (Ayr)
7. Thomas Gordon (Currie Chieftains)
8. Ally Miller (Melrose)