1st XV vs Selkirk: Match Report
You will have heard the tale of the Curate, who – upon being served an egg that was clearly off by his Bishop – expressed the view that ‘part of the egg was excellent’, rather than upset his superior with a poor report on his egg.
Part of our game against Selkirk on the evening of Friday 5th April was excellent, but, unfortunately, it is hard to argue the case for the defence when we conceded 40 points.
The game kicked off in temperatures of minus two, a fact that did not deter the doughty Souters who spilled out from the clubhouse clutching their pints of John Smith’s and greeted their players as they prepared to give Brian Cassidy a fitting send off for his coaching contribution to Selkirk.
It looked like we were in for a long night, as first Renwick rounded off a rolling maul, then No. 8 Kissock was on hand to finish off a backs move. With Banks’ conversion, we were twelve points down after eight minutes.
At this point we were struggling with the pace of the game. Bearing in mind we had been out of action for at least a month and the game was in the Borders on a Friday night – after work– it did not look good.
Back we came, though, and Struan Allan, in particular, proved a hot handful for the home team. Rory Cook looked lively and sniped to good effect, his infectious enthusiasm encouraging those around him.
Then the defining point in the game occurred.
After prolonged pressure on the Selkirk line, Michael Waldron saw yellow for not rolling away. As we prepared to drive the reduced Selkirk scrum over the line, the ball went right through the tunnel. MacDougall picked up and charged up the touchline. The ball spun back and forwards across the pitch and through half the Selkirk team, with Gavin Craig eventually touching down and Banks converting. Hats off to Selkirk – a good try!
A smart backs move up the touchline on the car park side saw Stuart MacDonald touch down – to complete silence from the Selkirk crowd – to make the score 19-5 at half time.
From a Selkirk point of view, the acquisition of a bonus point and victory had to be secured before they emptied their bench to give their players respite before the Gala sevens the following day.
From our point of view, we tried to stay in the game for as long as possible – and we gave as good as we got.
The set piece was good, with Phil showing his pedigree in the scrums and Scott Brewster a reliable source of ball in the lineout. As usual, Ben tidied up the scraps and we were able to fashion a good number of opportunities.
Selkirk pulled away with two tries, the second of which was particularly unfortunate; we took a quick tap penalty near our line, and, with Selkirk not able to retreat ten yards, they intercepted our break out to score under the posts. Stuart Shaw and Angus Lean hit back with well worked tries, with Seb converting both; by now, both teams had all their substitutes involved.
A bonus point try was no more than our young team deserved, but, in spite of several opportunities, including one that led to Struan pulling up like a runner in the Grand National, it was not to be. Struan has never really had a run in the team, with a series of injuries, and what a boost it would be for next season if he stayed fit.
Rory, Isaac, Ruairidh, Stuart MacDonald and Stuart Shaw were all new to this unique Borders experience, and will be all the better for it.
So that’s it – the last game over. The season was a bit better than the curate’s egg: very good in parts (notably victories over Hawks and Watsonians) with the most disappointing defeat the away loss to Biggar.
In this disjointed season there is still a bit of work for the Seconds, and, on that note, there were a few postponed games again at the weekend in their league.
Brian Moore and Finlay Calder are the superb speakers lined up to discuss the Lions at the Dinner, so let’s give them a warm welcome with a capacity turn out on Friday 19th April – see you there!
Many thanks, once again, to Gav for his superb match reports over the course of the season – consider yourself booked for season 2013/14, sir!