Musselburgh 2nds 10

Selkirk A 0

John Smail

at Pinkie

A FIRED-UP Musselburgh 2nds side proved too strong for Selkirk A in Saturday’s crunch Tennent’s Reserve League East 1 fixture on the Pinkie playing fields.

It was the first match this season in which the Souters have failed to register a single point, and the loss almost certainly means it will be Musselburgh, rather than Selkirk, who will contest the East-West play-offs at the end of the league campaign.

“I’m very disappointed,” Selkirk ‘A’ coach Darren Hoggan commented after the game.

“Fair play to Musselburgh, who handled the conditions better than us and were a bit more physical than our players.

“That’s our play-off hopes away now, especially with the points system the way it is in the reserve leagues. Our focus now shifts to finishing in third place, so we’ll be working hard to win our remaining two matches.”

With both sides having to contend with a fiercely gusting cross-field wind, after nine minutes Selkirk scrum-half Scott Clark had the chance to put the first points on the board, but the scrum-half’s penalty attempt was blown wide of the posts.

The visitors then surrendered possession at three consecutive line-outs on their own throw, allowing Musselburgh to march them back down the field, where outside centre Tom Foley sprinted over the line for the home team’s first try.

The same player repeated the feat 12 minutes later to increase Musselburgh’s lead to 10-0, and the body language of Selkirk’s disconsolate players was in stark contrast to the increased energy levels being shown by the home XV.

A no-holds-barred halftime pep talk by coach Darren Hoggan saw Selkirk’s players up their game in the second period’s opening exchanges, with wing forward Jamie Turnbull and teenage prop Moray Haldane prominent in the loose.

Despite exerting more pressure than they’d managed before the interval, Selkirk were unable to break the home side’s resolute defence, and at the final whistle it was the home players who deservedly took the points and the plaudits.

A hand injury suffered by replaced scrum-half Andrew Tennant was found to have been fractured after he went for an X-ray at the BGH.

Selkirk: M. Rutter, N. Armstrong, J. Griffin, L. Martin, H. Macdonell, D. Cassidy, S. Clark, M. Haldane, M. Francis, R. Reilly, D. Alexander, J. Houston, L. Cassidy, J. Turnbull, R. Purves. Replacements: M. Waldron, M. Mackay, P. Smail, M. Stanners, A. Tennant, S. Cockburn.