STUART CAMERON reports
from Riverside Park
After going the season without a win on the road, Kelso made it two away victories in a row at Riverside, beating their Border rivals, with a try bonus to boot, to put themselves into second place in the RBS Regional Cup table.
The muddy, damp and freezing conditions ensured that there would be plenty of errors, but as a contest it was an exciting spectacle.
Jed have their problems right now, particularly in the first half of games, and Kelso had clearly done their homework, attacking their hosts from the off.
To their credit the home side held out with some good defensive work and on nine minutes, against the run of play, they took the lead when a kick ahead by Andy McLean went over the try line. There didn’t look to be any danger as Kelso’s Stef Carnegie appeared to have it covered, but he couldn’t ground the ball and McLean pounced for the score, which he converted.
Ryan Selkirk, Mark Chester and Frank Robson helped themselves to first-half tries as the visitors stretched the Jed defence. Selkirk was on the end of a good move involving quick hands sending the ball wide, Chester taking advantage of generous defending from McLean to slip in by the posts and his delightful cross kick went directly to its target – Frank Robson – who dived in at the corner. This gave Kelso a well-deserved 17-7 advantage at the turn. Kieran Wilkinson converted Chester’s try.
While the Riverside men got back into the game with a much better second half, they couldn’t break Kelso’s defence down.
Only a piece of magic from scrum half Ross Goodfellow – an outrageous dummy which led to a free run in, converted by McLean – gave Jed some hope, but the Tweedsiders frustrated Jed-Forest constantly. Even more frustrating for the hosts was the fact that Kieran Cooney came off the bench for the final couple of minutes and drove over for a fourth try which gave Kelso a bonus point win, and at the same time took Jed’s losing bonus point away.
Jed-Forest: I. Chisholm; J. Hogg, G. Young, E. Scott, D. Gobby; A. McLean, R. Goodfellow; A. Ions, S. Raeburn, A. Croitoru, P. Hill, N. Cook, M. Weekley, D. Grieve, A. Nagle. Subs: C. Hogg, G. Slorance, G. Taylor, K. Aitcheson, R. Miller.
Kelso: K. Wilkinson; F. Robson, R. Minto, K. Utterson, R. Selkirk; M. Chester, A. Tait; S. Lowrie, C. Riddell, A. Marsh, S. Carnegie, D. Seed, G. Riddell, L. Mallin, J. Stephenson. Subs: A Frame, A Wallace, L Mitchell, C Renton.