Biggar are home and hosed at Poynder Park

Kelso 18

Biggar 24

Biggar came to Poynder Park on a bitterly cold day, desperately seeking points to ensure their safety in National League rugby, writes Norman Anderson.

Kelso played with the biting wind in the first half and very quickly set the scoreboard rolling with a penalty by Murray Hastie after four minutes.

However, a succession of penalties conceded by Kelso quickly allowed Biggar to level the score with a similar effort from Amo Wilbore.

It was incredibly open and Kelso were guilty of allowing former Hawick skipper Bruce McNeill too much space to rampage around the park.

Nevertheless, Kelso soon settled in the Biggar half and when a scrum ball was illegally interfered with, the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty try to Kelso, which Hastie converted.

Despite this boost the hosts conceded penalties at an alarming rate. So much so, that the referee invited Kieran Cooney to cool his jets in the sin bin for 10 minutes. Inevitably, Biggar capitalised on the short-handed plight of their hosts and centre Craig Russell barged over near the posts. Wilbore slotted the conversion to level the scores.

The teams retired to the warmth of the changing rooms at half-time, but it was Biggar who seemed to benefit more as they came out all guns blazing and scored straight away with Hata Wilbore waltzing through some slipshod tackling to make an easy conversion for brother Amo.

Kelso had their chances, but failed to cash in on two fine breaks by Greg Ponton and Murray Hastie.

Hastie narrowed the gap with a penalty on 61 minutes, only for Biggar to go ahead with one of their rare visits to the Kelso line in the latter part of the game. Replacement hooker, Mike Rutherford, wormed his way over for a try. Again, Wilbore converted, and it seemed Biggar were home and hosed.

Kelso laid siege to the Biggar 22, but despite being awarded a succession of penalties it was not until the final minute that Robbie Neilson was able to crash over for a try, which Greg Ponton was unable to convert.

Kelso: A. Alexander; G. Millar, R. Minto, D. Buckley, G. Ponton; M. Hastie, F. Strachan, S. Lowrie, C. Riddell, A. Marsh, K. Cooney, D. Seed, I. Wallace, M. Robertson, S. Carnegie. Subs: D. Redstone, E. Ford, G. Minto, R. Neilson.