Aberdeenshire 2nds 26

Selkirk A 39

A TYPICALLY gritty display by Selkirk ’A’ in Aberdeen on Saturday clinched the victory which guarantees the Souters will continue to play their rugby in BT Reserve League National 2 next season.

Managing to finally step out from the relegation shadows constitutes a huge achievement by this young Selkirk side, who have shown character and self-belief to bounce back from an eight-match losing streak at the start of the season.

“The boys deserve every accolade going for what they’ve accomplished in the second half of the season,” head coach Brian Cassidy told the selkirkrfc.com web site after Saturday’s game.

“It’s a young team without too many old heads in it, but the way these youngsters have stuck together and played for the Selkirk jersey has made me really proud.

“This is a tough league to be in, with a fair amount of travelling involved, but the commitment shown by every member of the squad has been outstanding. The coaches couldn’t have asked for more.”

Up against a physical and more experienced Aberdeenshire team, Selkirk found themselves 7-0 down in the opening minutes after home flanker Liam Buchan raced over for a try, converted by Mally White.

Two tries in quick succession by Frazer Anderson helped steady the Selkirk ship, with Rory Banks adding a third to give the visitors a 17-7 lead. Although Aberdeenshire wing Gavin Thomas cut the deficit with a try on the half-hour mark, the visitors hit back with a score by Strath Mackenzie to give Selkirk a 24-12 interval lead.

Tries after the break by Alan Rutter and Rory Hamilton put the visitors out of sight, but further scores by Aberdeenshire’s Liam Cousins and Gavin Cunningham earned the home side a deserved bonus point. Rory Banks had a personal haul of 14 points from a try, a penalty and three conversions.

Some of the shine was taken off the Souters’ win by late injuries to Ryan Legge, Jamie Turnbull and Bruce Riddell, but by the end of the night all three players were to be seen celebrating with the best of them.

Selkirk’s ‘Man of the Match’ award went to Jimmy Stephen.

Selkirk: R. Hamilton, F. Anderson, J. Griffin, D. Swinbanks, K. Gerrard, R. Banks, J. Wallace, M. Waldron, R. Wilson, B. Riddell, R. Reilly, J. Turnbull, W. McClymont, S. Mackenzie, R. Cook. Replacements: R. Shiel, R. Legge, A. Rutter, J. Stephen, M. Stanners.