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11
JAN

Glasgow Accies 0 Selkirk 22

4th Round SHE National Cup

New Anniesland

10th January 2009-01-10

Accies Go Down Fighting to the Last

After a week of sunshine and frost the weather changed dramatically overnight leaving the New Anniesland pitch in perfect order for running rugby. Unfortunately with the thaw came a gale force wind and driving rain. The rain largely stayed off until the last 10 minutes but the wind was extremely difficult especially to play into.

Selkirk had the wind advantage in the first have but strangely did not use it to gain possession preferring to run at the Accies defence through their threequarters. This did not really seem to work as the Accies defence was tight despite a succession of injuries throughout the half. Firstly Jamie Stewart had to leave the field for attention then Alan Wilson had a recurrence of a dead leg problem suffered in the Thursday training session and finally fullback Euan Shand took a knock that seemed to restrict him for the rest of the game.

Accies had enough problems before the game without this as Ricky Munday, Stewart Smith, Mike Hermes and Ross Chassells were all missing for one reason or another. However the replacements all tackled like dervishes to keep the attacking hoards at bay.

The real story however was the performance of the Accies pack during the first half, they gave as good as they got or better. They scrummaged well; the lineout was fairly secure despite the tricky wind and their rucking and driving mauls kept their opponents on the back foot.

It took Selkirk 11 minutes to score. The powerful pack eventually forced the Accies eight over the line for a touchdown.

0-5

This was followed by Accies best scoring opportunity. A penalty took them to a lineout 5 metres from the Selkirk line. Then a series of drives followed but they could not force the ball over the line. It was eventually given away softly and Selkirk took full advantage of Accies stretched defence to run the length of the field for a score under the posts for a converted try.

0-17 after 17 minutes. At this stage one wondered if the walls would cave in for Accies but not a bit of it. They dug even deeper and still had a considerable amount of the ball. Some of it due to Selkirk indiscipline as they were marched back three time by referee Ed Crozier for speaking out of turn.

The third score of the half came in the 30th minute. Selkirk were awarded a 5 metre scrum and their powerful No. 8 was too strong for the defence and he ploughed over 15 metre in from touch.

0-17

Accies now had to survive a further 10 minutes without conceding a try and again the forward put in another huge effort to thwart their more experienced opponents.

Half time: Accies 0 Selkirk 17

Now the Accies support were wondering if they could do it with the elements at their backs but sadly the answer was no. Selkirk stepped up at gear and for long periods retained possession of the ball denying Accies the opportunities to use the wind to gain territory. There were fleeting moments of excitement for the Accies support firstly when Jack Walker burst out of his own half and made 40 metres of ground. Unfortunately the support players could not get to his side and the chance was lost. Later in the half Accies got to within 5 metres of the line on two occasions but their old Achilles heel caught them out when they gave away penalties.

With 10 minutes to go Selkirk sealed the game. Accies failed to defend the blindside at a set scrum on the halfway line and the Selkirk scrum half simply scorched away and finally linked up with his threequarters for a try in the far corner on the left.

0-22. Accies did not give up at this late stage and the game ended with them on the attack.

Despite the distance between the two sides in the leagues this was still a highly competitive game of rugby. The differences between the two sides were experience and a more powerful back division.

From an Accies point of view this game should have been a great learning experience and a boost to their confidence. They will always wonder what might have happened if they had had a full strength back division and fewer injuries to those that were on the field on the day. The forward now know that they can live with any team in the leagues and can look forward to the remaining league games and Shield ties with some anticipation.

Next week they are away to Stewartry at Castle Douglas followed by Linlithgow and Hawick YM at home. Quite an exciting January programme. Please come out and give them your support.

PS

Further to the earlier match report please note the following corrections.

The early reference to an injury to Euan Shand should have read Jack Walker who had to leave the field at half time and be replaced by David McLaughlin. In the second half the burst out of his own half was by Euan Shand and not Jack Walker who was off the pitch.

On a murky day the players are quite alike although they play in different positions.

Apologies for any confusion caused.

Kind regards

Alasdair Graham

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