RBS NATIONAL LEAGUE
NORMAN ANDERSON reports from Poynder Park
THE visitors took the lead after Kelso were caught offside in the middle of the park and Angus Twaddle slotted home the penalty. Murray Hastie responded in kind for the hosts after a Hills offside.
From then on, the Tweedsiders constantly ripped the opposition defence apart with incisive running and great support play, with an outstanding performance by centre Dom Buckley.
It was Buckley who started the Kelso try bonanza after 15 minutes. His breakout was taken on by Gregg Minto who fed the ball back for Buckley to storm over close enough to the posts to give Hastie the successful conversion opportunity.
Richard Minto skipped along the touchline, selling at least one outrageous dummy, to dash over from 50m. Hastie added the conversion to put Kelso 17-3 up after only 21 minutes.
The Borderers bagged another score when Buckley broke up the touchline and fed Gregg Minto to go over for an unconverted touchdown. After 32 minutes, Kelso secured the bonus point with a fourth try when Buckley’s long pass allowed Gregor Millar to cross the line. Hastie added the extras.
Kelso continued in the ascendancy after the restart. From a 5m lineout, Ian Wallace was driven over and Hastie slotted the conversion.
Following the awarding of a penalty, Hills replacement Chris Tulloch decided to assess the referee’s performance. However, the official, Mhairi Hay, took exception to his assessment, reversed the penalty and gave him 10 minutes in the bin. Kelso won the ensuing line-out, but were held up in the maul. From the Hills scrum, a big drive by the home pack allowed Fraser Strachan to pounce on the ball as it squirted over the line.
The Kelso try fest was not quite over and, after a high kick in the 66th minute, Ian Wallace was held up just short of the line. But the ever-alert Hastie secured the ball to dive over, followed up by a successful conversion kick, to put his side 48-3 ahead.
A noticeable tail-off in performance, with all of the replacements now on, allowed Hills a good finish with tries from Twaddle and Geoff Dunne, both converted by the former.
Then Gregg Minto incurred the wrath of the assistant referee, resulting in a yellow card and a slightly earlier finish than the rest of the players.
Kelso: A. Alexander; G. Millar, R. Minto, D. Buckley, G. Minto; M. Hastie, F. Strachan; K. Cooney, C. Riddell, S. Lowrie, D. Seed, A. Wallace, I. Wallace, M. Robertson, S. MacColl. Replacements: A. Marsh, D. Redstone, R. Tinlin, S. Carnegie, C. Renton.