Peebles 22

Selkirk 30

Atholl Innes

at The Gytes

THE Booker Wholesale Border League came under scrutiny again with the opening game of 2020 on Saturday only the second in Pool B with Pool A completed and Jed-Forest already in the final.

Selkirk had to bring on some of their top men in the second half at The Gytes to secure victory and a bonus point in a derby that produced eight tries.

Coach Scott Wight watched as his team recovered from a 5-17 deficit at the interval to clinch the ‘bonus’ in the final minutes before Peebles rallied with their own fourth try.

With Selkirk and Peebles two leagues apart, the Souters tested out members of the A XV while experienced campaigners sat on the bench to be called on if needed – and they were.

Wight said: “I always knew it was going to be tough, and it was a great opportunity for me to look at some of the 2nds players.

"I knew that we had experienced guys to bring and that it was ‘do-able’ in the second half and it showed. I would have taken an 18-17 (win) at the end.”

Peebles captain Greg Raeburn was delighted with the way his team had played.

He said: “We were pleased we kept going to the end.

“We started well, but Selkirk overpowered us in the second half.

"However, we can take a lot of positives and we believe we can compete against teams above us. It also gives the boys a runabout and they played for each other.”

Selkirk were able to bring on players such as James Bett, Ewan Macdougall and Luke Pettie to help salvage the victory.

Pettie, though, was shown a yellow card 10 minutes from the end while Patrick Harrison, the Peebles hooker, felt the wrath of referee Michael Todd in the first half.

Tries from Donald Anderson, Ritchey Reed and David Collins, and one Greg Raeburn conversion, to a try by Sean Rankin gave the hosts a 17-5 half-time advantage.

Tries from Peter Forrest, Callum McNeill and Andrew McColm turned the game on its head, with Callum Anderson kicking two conversions and two penalties before Scott Stoddart rounded off the day with a fourth Peebles try in the 86th minute.

Peebles: J. Matthews; N. Pate, M. Brown, D. Anderson, J. Dow; G. Raeburn, D. Collins; N. Hogarth, P. Harrison, J. Menzies, R. Reed, L. Brinck, M. Anderson, S. Lawson, K. Brown. Replacements: M. Monroe, J. Gray, H. Bell, F. Collins, R. Harrison, R. Guiney.

Selkirk: R. Cottrell; F. Anderson, C. McNeill, L. Berte, N. Armstrong; C. Anderson, S. Clark; M. Haldane, M. Francis, G. Forrest, P. Forrest, S. Rankin, A. McColm, H. Borthwick, L. Cassidy. Replacements: J. Bett, L. Pettie, B. Riddell, A. Mackay, E. Macdougall, R. Hamilton, H. Birthay, R. Hamilton, L. Morelle.