Selkirk 26

Jed-Forest 20

A TRY by full-back Henry Bithray deep into injury time clinched a dramatic victory for Selkirk in Saturday’s tense, hard-fought Tennent’s Premiership match against Jed-Forest at Philiphaugh

Moments earlier it looked as if the Royal Blues had snatched victory when Jed centre Rory Marshall sprinted over for a try in the scoreboard corner to edge his team 20-19 in front with just three minutes left on the clock.

As full-time approached the Souters were awarded a penalty which appeared to be kickable, but skipper Ewan MacDougall opted instead for a scrum.

Tension built around the ground after a series of resets and front row collapses saw the game move into stoppage time.

The ball was eventually won by Selkirk and moved right to Aaron McColm, whose perfectly floated pass missed out Callum Anderson and found Bithray bursting down the right touchline.

The Kiwi player gratefully grabbed the ball and sprinted in for the game’s decisive try.

In the first half it was the Riverside Park men who made all the running. The visitors went ahead in the 13th minute when Monty Mitchell’s pop-up pass found right wing Callum Young, who sliced through the home back line to give a scoring pass to Robbie Yourston, who converted his try.

Selkirk hit back five minutes before the interval, when a breenge by Ross Purves close to the Jed line was carried on by Ewan MacDougall, who bulldozed his way past two defenders for a try. McColm’s conversion levelled the scores.

The home crowd’s joy was short-lived. Almost immediately Jed-Forest regained the lead when Calum Young’s devastating side-step left a handful of Selkirk defenders clutching at air, with the talented wing’s touchdown making the interval score 12-7 in Jed’s favour.

After the break a Yourston penalty extended the Royal Blues’ lead to 15-7, but Selkirk capitalised on Jed indiscipline to score a brace of tries through Ross Purves and Scott McClymont, both the result of well executed rolling mauls. McColm’s conversion of the second score put the home side 19-15 ahead.

Marshall and Bithray’s late tries brought the match to its nail-biting conclusion, allowing Selkirk to halt a sequence of seven successive defeats at the hands of their old rivals.

The match saw Kiwi utility forward Sean Rankine make a confident debut for Selkirk off the bench, while two other home replacements – Harry Borthwick and Donald Nichol – both make massive impacts when they were introduced after 55 minutes

Selkirk head coach Scott Wight said: "The boys showed great composure to get back into the game.

“However, in the first half I thought we were poor, and that was clearly pointed out to the players at halftime!

“They reacted well, I’m pleased to say, and I thought we managed things very well in the final stages of the match. Getting the bonus point has given everyone a big lift."