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1st XV - Match centre

Hamilton 1st XV
C Skilling, E Aitken, C Inglis
O McLeish
O McLeish (2)
Sat 8 Sep 15:00 - Tennent's National League - Division 1 Full time

Bulls grind out victory vs Selkirk


Hamilton 23 - Selkirk 14

On Saturday, Hamilton Bulls entertained Selkirk, fresh from their resounding victory at home to Kirkaldy who pipped the Bulls to the National division 2 title last season. The task facing the bulls was clear, but the young Bulls rose to the challenge of facing a borders’ opponent for the second consecutive week. From the off, bulls showed their intention to play with real attacking style, and got the scoreboard moving in 4 minutes. Following a midfield line break by lock Josh White, the ball was moved right and smart interchange of passes between full back Ethan Aitken and Craig Skilling saw the latter dot down between the posts for McLeish to convert. Similar smart handling almost resulted in a second but Selkirk’s winger just won the race to touch down Craig Inglis’ chip ahead.
Selkirk recovered from the Bulls’ whirlwind start and worked their way into the game and stand off Rory Banks just missed a penalty goal attempt on 11 minutes. The game went from one end of the pitch to the other and only stout Selkirk defence kept Hamilton out. Their defensive effort was rewarded on 22 minutes when their forwards played several accurate phases, resulting in Hamilton’s defence giving away a succession of penalties. Their defence was finally breeched by Hooker James Bett who forced his way over under the posts. Rory Banks added the extras.
Hamilton kept the pressure on and it was Selkirk whose discipline cracked next offering Mcleish the chance of a long range penalty attempt which floated between the uprights to retake the lead which they never surrendered. Next on the score sheet was full back Ethan Aitken who finished off a slick handling move set up by the midfield break of flanker Gregor Brodie. McLeish’s conversion attempt from out wide fell just short. Half time 15 – 7.
Bulls started the second half with the same attitude, securing possession form the kick off and swinging the ball wide to clear the way for Craig Inglis to crash over out wide. Despite Selkirk’s attempts to reduce the leeway, Hamilton trusted their defence, and their attacking style. This resulted in some scrappy play but the Bulls edged this nervous period when McLeish knocked over another long range penalty to open up a 16 point gap. Injury to Inglis brought debutant Neil Kennedy into the fray and his first task was to repel Sekirk’s determined attack. Keeping the ball tight in the forwards, they punched their way to the Hamilton five metre line, and a clever cross field kick let full back John Welsh cross the whitewash and Banks added the extras to reduce the leeway with15 minutes remaining.
Bulls continued to press and breaks by Man of the match, Robert Brown and Kennedy resulted in two quick penalties. Hamilton opted unsuccessfully to go for the posts from long range. Despite these misses against the breeze , the young Bulls looked after possession well enough to hold on for their first Nat 1 win of the season. Coach Gemmell acknowledged the efforts of his players. “I thought we looked after the ball much better this week, but still showed the attacking flair that these guys are capable of. There will be no easy matches in this division, but I am confident that the boys have a game plan and the skills to bring it on to the pitch.”
Next up is the visit of Cartha QP, on Saturday 15th September, kick off 3pm.

Key moments

Try Craig Skilling scores for Hamilton 1st XV
Conversion Owen McLeish kicks a conversion for Hamilton 1st XV
Try Try for Selkirk
Conversion Conversion for Selkirk
Penalty Owen McLeish kicks a penalty for Hamilton 1st XV
Try Ethan Aitken scores for Hamilton 1st XV
Try Craig Inglis scores for Hamilton 1st XV
Penalty Owen McLeish kicks a penalty for Hamilton 1st XV
Try Try for Selkirk
Conversion Conversion for Selkirk

Videos and photos

1XV Selkirk 8-09-2018
45 photos
1XV Selkirk 8-09-2018


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64:00 Try 23 - 12
Try for Selkirk
64:00 Conversion 23 - 14
Conversion for Selkirk
59:00 Penalty 23 - 7
Owen McLeish kicks a penalty for Hamilton 1st XV
42:00 Try 20 - 7
Craig Inglis scores for Hamilton 1st XV
End of period 1
35:00 Try 15 - 7
Ethan Aitken scores for Hamilton 1st XV
25:00 Penalty 10 - 7
Owen McLeish kicks a penalty for Hamilton 1st XV
23:00 Try 7 - 5
Try for Selkirk
23:00 Conversion 7 - 7
Conversion for Selkirk
5:00 Try 5 - 0
Craig Skilling scores for Hamilton 1st XV
5:00 Conversion 7 - 0
Owen McLeish kicks a conversion for Hamilton 1st XV
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Hamilton 1st XV
  • Selkirk
  • 0
  • Craig Skilling Try 5:00'
  • Owen McLeish Conversion 5:00'
  • Try 23:00'
  • Conversion 23:00'
  • Owen McLeish Penalty 25:00'
  • Ethan Aitken Try 35:00'
  • Craig Inglis Try 42:00'
  • Owen McLeish Penalty 59:00'
  • Try 64:00'
  • Conversion 64:00'

Team selection

League round up

Other Division 1 results

Aberdeen Grammar Rugby
Dundee HSFP


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
6. Musselburgh 22 63
7. Gala 22 63
8. Kelso 22 38
9. Dundee HSFP 22 37
10. Cartha Queens Park 22 37
11. Hamilton 1st XV 22 31
12. Kirkcaldy 22 30

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