Edinburgh Accies 26
ATHOLL INNES @ Philiphaugh
EDINBURGH Accies won a dynamic battle at Philiphaugh where Aaron McColm was just short with a last-kick penalty to win the game for the hosts. However, there was consolation for Selkirk who scored four tries and also gained a losing bonus point.
Iain Berthinussen, lead coach at Accies, said: “We played with a bit more variety in the second half and were just glad to get a result. I was a bit nervous at the end when the penalty was awarded, but were delighted that we got the win. We have only one game to go on the road before we go back home.”
The Spanish referee issued what must have been the quickest yellow card of the season as Accies captain Jamie Sole was sent to the sin bin in five minutes. Selkirk made the extra man count and, after a series of scrums, Ewan Macdougall was driven over and McColm converted for a 7-0 lead in only eight minutes. Sole was still off the field when Henry Bithray raced clear down the right for a comfortable try, which McColm just failed to convert.
Bithray was soon back in action when he broke away from his own 22 to launch a move that looked certain to lead to a try, but the referee ruled that was in an offside position when he gathered the ball.
Accies responded with a series of attacks to stretch the home defence and in the end, Sean Crombie was driven over and Jamie Loomes converted to cut the deficit to five points. The score was not surprising as the Accies pack had started to dominate, although the Selkirk defence did a pretty good job of weathering the storm.
The game swung from end to end with neither side able to gain an ascendancy, but as half-time approached Accies, boosted by the try, came more into the game. However, Donald Nichol almost turned the tide with a driving run that was halted by a crucial tackle to leave Selkirk 12-7 ahead at the interval.
Sole made amends for his yellow card when he was on hand to cash in on a break by Robert Wilson, who raced away from halfway to create the opportunity for the try which Loomes converted, to give Accies the lead for the first time.
Bithray was again ruled to be in front of the kicker from Callum Anderson’s crossfield pass and Accies were soon back on the offensive.
Selkirk were reduced to 14 when replacement Andrew Renwick was sent to the sin-bin and this time Matt Campbell found himself unmarked to go over in the left-hand corner in 62 minutes for Accies’ third try.
And they added the bonus when Cole Imrie touch down with 10 minutes left, and Loomes converted for good measure.
Selkirk were not finished yet, however, with Macdougall setting up a try for Luca Berte, although McColm missed the difficult conversion.
The hosts continued to battle hard in the final few minutes andRenwick scored from close range, but it was not enough in the most dramatic of finishes.
Selkirk: A McColm; H Bithray, J Welsh, L Berte, R Crockett; C Anderson, L Morelle; L Pettie, J Bett, S Rankin, P Forrest, D Nichol, J Mackay, S McClymont, E Macdougall. Subs: A Mackay, B Riddell, A Renwick, F Anderson, L Martin.
Edinburgh Accies: J Loomes; J Pecqueur, R Wilson, N Armstrong, M Campbell; R Bonner, M Love; C Imrie, S. Crombie, C Lacour, A Inwood, D Dineen, C Thomson, J Sole, R Campbell. Subs: K Jenkins, C Lamberton, P O’Sullivan, J Bruce, B Grainger.
Referee: I Attorasgasti (Spain)
Selkirk: Tries: Macdougall, Bithray, Berte, Renwick; Cons: McColm 2.
Edinburgh Accies: Tries: Crombie, Sole, Imrie, Campbell; Cons: Loomes 3.
Scoring sequence (Selkirk first): 5-0; 7-0; 12-0; 12-5; 12-7 (h-t) 12-12; 12-14; 12-19; 12-24; 12-26; 17-26; 22-26; 24-26.
Yellow cards –
Edinburgh Accies: Sole
Man of the Match: Edinburgh Accies flanker Jamie Sole gets it despite his early yellow card, but he was pushed all the way by the Selkirk skipper Ewan Macdougall who was the driving force among the home forwards.
Talking point: The free flow of the game allowed by the exchange referee and the battling of both sides who were each determined to win the game.