RBS NATIONAL LEAGUE
FIELDING seven changes from the side that lifted the RBS Border Regional Cup the previous weekend, Selkirk’s revamped team was always going to have its work cut out against a side desperate to escape the RBS National League drop zone.
And so it was. Although the visitors put up a battling display, the sending-off of lock Clément Lacour in the final quarter tipped the balance in Hamilton’s favour, with the home pack pressing home their one-man advantage to score the game’s decisive try and secure a vital victory which essentially ends any promotion hopes for Selkirk this season.
The match’s 12.30pm kick-off gave the contest a slightly surreal feel, but to their credit both sides soon adjusted to the early start and the pitch’s wet, slippery surface.
Selkirk were 15-0 down at Laigh Bent, but three tries by Darren Clapperton (2) and Rory Banks, all converted by Mike McVie, put them in front going into the closing stages of the game.
But the turning point came in the 67th minute when Lacour was shown a red card by the referee following an altercation under the shadow of the visitors’ posts. Six minutes later, following relentless pressure, Hamilton’s forwards launched a rolling maul towards the Souters’ try line, resulting in a second touchdown for openside flanker Andy Hill.
With Selkirk still leading by a point, Hamilton fly-half Owen McLeish held his nerve to send the touchline conversion over the bar and put his side ahead.
The relief of the vociferous home supporters at the final whistle was palpable as the Laigh Bent outfit took another step towards RBS National League safety. Selkirk: F. Harkness, R. Banks, M. Rutherford, C. MacDougall, D. Clapperton; G. Craig, M. McVie; S. Renwick, J. Bett, C. Graur, C. Lacour, E. Turner, J. Everitt, A. Duckett, E. MacDougall. Subs: C. McColm, S. Forrest , M. Waldron, M. Robertson, K. Mitchell.