KELSO HIGH SCHOOL’S hockey team finished an outstanding season with a great win over George Watson’s College in the final of Berwickshire High School Sevens.
Beaten in the final of the Caritas Sevens the week before by the hosts, Kelso took their revenge on the Scottish Schools champions after coming through a very closely contested section and semi-final.
The two teams met in the first tie and it was Watson’s, with some good build-up play, who scored just before half-time. In the dying seconds, however, Kelso equalised when Kirsty Hill took the ball from just over the centre line and beat two defenders and the keeper to put the ball in the back of the net.
Kelso then met old rivals Selkirk in a typical end-to-end game where both teams struggled to get to grips with playing on the grass. The match ended in a goalless draw.
Kelso’s third game was against Galashiels Academy and with two goals from Henrietta Cooper and one from Emily Stewart the Tweedsiders ran out 3-0 winners.
Next up were Peebles High School, and back on the astro again, the team moved the ball around well and won 5-0, goals coming from Cooper (2), Stewart (2) and Juliet Smith.
This put them second behind George Watson’s in Section One, as the latter had beaten all the other Border Schools, and meant they were up against St George’s in the semi-final.
In Section 2 St George’s had also defeated all the Borders teams, but runners-up in this group were Kelso’s second team who had beaten Hawick High School 2-0 in their first game with goals from Lucy Ramsay and Kate Lesenger; Berwickshire High School 1-0 with Ramsay again grabbing the counter; drew with Earlston High School 0-0 and lost 0-3 to St George’s.
The first semi-final saw Kelso’s A team playing St George’s and it was the latter who took the lead in the first half, but Kelso fought back and equalised with another solo effort from striker Hill, which meant penalty strokes had to decide who would reach the final.
At the end of the thre strokes it was still a draw, so it went to sudden death.
St George’s scored their first but captain Hill once again put the ball powerfully past the keeper to tie the scores.
A weak second stroke by St George’s enabled Gillian Forsyth to make a save, and Sarah Dagg stepped up to put the ball into the back of the net and take Kelso through to the final.
The other semi-final saw Kelso’s second team put up a brave fight, but they lost 3-0 to the more experienced Watson’s.
The final saw a repeat of the first game with the capital side scoring in the first half, but Kelso, unwilling to relinquish the cup, refused to give up and battled their way back into the game.
Their persistence paid off when they were awarded a penalty corner.
From a well-constructed set piece between Kirsty Hill and Anna Ramsay, Kirsty put the ball past the Watson’s keeper to make it 1-1 at full-time.
Extra time was played and Kelso delivered their best hockey of the tournament, scoring after a minute, again through Hill, before some superb passing left striker Cooper to make the final score 3-1 to the Tweedsiders.
This was an amazing result considering George Watson’s College are Scottish Schools champions and have been undefeated all season and Kelso still do not have an astro pitch.
Kelso High School: Kirsty Hill (captain), Anna Ramsay, Juliet Smith, Gillian Forsyth, Megan Cuthers, Henrietta Cooper, Sarah Dagg, Amber Cuthers, Emily Stewart and Rachel Stewart.