A large crowd braved the rainy conditions to witness the great event and were not disappointed.
Zen Szwagrzak was a surprise inclusion in Selkirk’s squad after playing for Poland against Belgium 24 hours earlier.
The Premier League side opened the scoring against their opponents in the sixth minute when Aaron McCollum sliced through a gap in the Melrose defense to fumble between the post leaving a simple conversion from Craig Jackson against his former club.
Melrose responded with a long-range penalty from captain David Colvin.
But Selkirk added to his lead moments later with a sparkling solo run from Ryan Cottrell.
After catching a pass from the left wing, he volleyed lightly into the Melrose 22 and showed tremendous pace and football skill to dribble over the whitewash and touch. The conversion went off target.
Souters continued to dominate territory until the end of the first half but the Melrose defense held it tight leaving the halftime score 12-3 in favor of Selkirk.
Another penalty from Colvin in the 55th minute cut the deficit to six points.
Selkirk thought they had wrapped things up when youngster Finley Whillans landed, but he was ruled out ahead and the score was overturned.
So it was a tense end to the game for the Selkirk fans knowing a converted try from Melrose would give them the lead.
And it almost did with the 20-meter strike that ended in a penalty and a yellow card for Selkirk’s Scott McClymont.
But the line-up didn’t go as planned and Sotters held out with a hard-fought 12-6 win and the Border League title, the seventh in the club’s history.
After the final whistle, Selkirk co-captain Luke Beattie told Borders Rugby TV: “A few weeks ago we wouldn’t have had the rebound and we would have been conceded. But credit to the boys. They held on in the 80th minute.”
“It’s huge. There are a couple of guys out there who are going forward so we said that at half time to reward them.
“We talk about negative things week after week, but we rewarded them and it wasn’t a pretty thing. I don’t know if it ever will happen, but we’re happy.
Credit to Melrose. No matter where Melrose play, they’ll always be tough. They have a good group of young boys.”
Melrose coach Bert Gregg said: “I told you it was going to be high scoring. Maybe I missed a little bit, but it was physical. That was probably your classic derby.
“We let that early goal in and maybe that killed our momentum a bit.
“But we talked about it in the first half and I know it didn’t mean much but we won the second half which proved we can compete.
“But it was just those little things that disappointed us on the night.”
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