Selkirk 21 Edinburgh Accies 28
Edinburgh Accies booked a semi-final place in the Scottish Hydro Electric Cup having just too much firepower up front for a Selkirk side that tried to dazzle but for whom it looked the end of a long season.
Accies will now feature in an all Edinburgh semi-final, away to either Boroughmuir or Heriot’s who meet at Meggetland on Saturday.
Edinburgh Accies head coach Ian Barnes said: “I thought we deserved the win. We played the full 80 minutes, were very committed at the breakdown and kicked our goals, which we haven’t done all season.”
Selkirk set a cracking pace with a second minute try from inside-centre Ross Armstrong. Off lineout possession he used his right winger as a decoy then had the strength to muscle over in Robin Snape’s tackle. Armstrong added the conversion for good measure.
Accies then began to string together possession and Matt Coupar, the Scotland 7s internationalist, finished off a move with some aplomb for Michael Campbell’s conversion to tie the scores.
Campbell then struck penalties in the 19th, 22nd and 32nd minutes – dispensing justice in the calm manner of his grandfather Lord Mackay of Clashfern – as Selkirk infringed at breakdown and seemed otherwise slow of thought.
Just before the break, more Selkirk indiscipline, hands in a ruck which saw home hooker Ian Walling sin-binned, enabled Accies to kick to touch, lock Greg Campbell to pouch and his forwards to drive for hooker Mark Price to touch down.
But in first-half injury time, with Fraser Harkness to the fore, Selkirk twice ran kickable penalties, and were rewarded when Eddie Gauché crashed over from a close-range ruck. Armstrong’s conversion gave Selkirk further encouragement.
Half-time: Selkirk 14 Edinburgh Academicals 21
A breakaway featuring home stand-off Gavin Craig and right wing Scott Hendrie all but created an opening for the hosts but the final pass went astray.
The game was coming to the boil now and Dan Teague was yellow-carded for another infringement at the breakdown. Accies, however, seemed to respond better to this adversity, Coupar being denied at the right flag, then Campbell mis-cuing with a penalty chance.
Into the last quarter now and Selkirk were on the attack when Alex Dunbar tried to chip through only for Tom Drennan to gather and romp in from 60 metres. Campbell added the extras.
Game over? Fraser Harkness certainly didn’t think so as he followed-up his own kick ahead to pouch and dot down. Scott Hendrie converted and Selkirk trailed 21-28 with five minutes remaining.
Selkirk: Fraser Harkness; Scott Hendrie, Alex Dunbar, Ross Armstrong, Lee Jones; Gavin Craig, Fraser Jack; Gordon Patterson, Ian Walling, Martin Murray, Rory Aglen, Andrew Renwick, Eddie Gauché, Scott Tomlinson, David Gray. Subs: Jason Hendrie, Peter Stewart, Rob Taylor and Simon Willet
Edinburgh Academicals; Stewart Walker; Matt Coupar, Paul Loudon, Iain Berthinussen, Jim Oliphant; Ruaridh Bonner, Michael Campbell; Nick Lah, Mark Price, Alastair Marsh, Greg Campbell, Phil Jenkinson, Tom Drennan, Dan Teague, Robin Snape. Subs: Lewis Niven, Mungo Strachan, Robert Lovett and Josh Pecquard
Referee: Andrew Healy (GHA)