Currie Chieftains 11
TWO quick-fire tries in the second half turned the game Selkirk’s way after they trailed 3-8 at the break and 3-11 soon after the interval in a tough contest at Philiphaugh. It was a third defeat in a row for Currie Chieftains, who are now looking over their shoulder at the chasing pack rather than ahead at trying to catch table-toppers Marr.
Selkirk gained in confidence as the match progressed, and the forwards dug deep in defence when the game ran deep into injury-time. Indeed, the score could have been more if Selkirk had kicked their conversions and missed penalty attempts.
The visitors’ strength showed after nine minutes when a crossfield move released Archie McLean in for the opening try, but Gregor Hunter’s conversion fell short. Cameron Meager threatened with a break down the right, but the Selkirk cover got back.
Play soon switched to the other end following a Josh Mackay break before the move was halted when the ball was knocked-on, and Selkirk’s defence was then put to the test as Currie regained control.
It was a tough forwards’ battle and Hunter extended the lead with a penalty in 26 minutes.
However, Selkirk regained the initiative despite losing Donald Nichol with an apparent shoulder injury to be replaced by Bruce Riddell. They won a series of penalties on the Chieftains line without success so had to make do with Aaron McColm penalty, which meant the visitors turned round 8-3 ahead.
Chieftains wasted a try opportunity when a penalty went straight into touch beyond the corner flag early in the second half, but they did get three points when Hunter kicked a second penalty to stretch his side’s lead a few minutes later.
There were mistakes on both sides as the heavy conditions took their toll. Selkirk were forced back in defence, and when they did gain momentum, knock-ons gave away possession.
However, it was game-on when Scott McClymont was driven over and two minutes later Henry Bithray won the race to touch down to give Selkirk the lead for the first time.
McColm’s conversion came back off the post and he then missed a penalty when the better option might have been a kick to the corner, but it didn’t matter in the end. Selkirk defended bravely to clinch the game in the seventh minute of injury time.
Before the kick-off, there was a minute’s silence for Selkirk President Gus Boag, who died suddenly after the Hawick game a week ago, and Selkirk responded with a fitting performance in tribute.
Selkirk: H Bithray; J Welsh, J Henry, R Nixon, L Berte; A McColm, L Merolle; L Pettie, J Bett, S Rankin, P Forrest D Nichol, J Mackay, S McClymont, E Macdougall. Subs: B Riddell, G Forrest, C Anderson, R Cottrell.
Currie Chieftains: J McCaig; C Meager, S Hamilton, A Hall, A McLean; G Hunter, G Christie; G Carson, R Vucago, R Paterson, M Poole, S Edwards, M Vernel, W Nelson, R Davies. Subs: H Ferguson, G Williamson, M Argiro, E Blair, F Sayers.
Referee: M. Todd.
Selkirk: Tries: McClymont, Bithray; Pen: McColm.
Currie Chieftains: Try McLean; Pens:Hunter 2.
Scoring sequence (Selkirk first): 0-5; 0-8; 3-8 (h-t) 3-11; 8-11; 13-11.
Man-of-the-Match: Flanker Scott McClymont was Selkirk’s try scorer and a driving force in an overall impressive forwards’ performance, which laid the foundation for victory over one of the Premiership’s potential champions.
Talking point: The Selkirk fightback which did not seem possible in the first half as the hosts’ confidence grew after the second-half tries.