PREMIER GROUP C
STUART CAMERON reports from Poynder Park
Kelso supporters are traditionally put through the mill by their team who, in recent times, have taken them to the edge of despair by staring relegation right in the face – only to whip the threat away very late in the day and survive in Premier Two for another season.
This year seems to be no different as they find themselves deep in the relegation zone with seemingly only two other teams – GHA and Kirkcaldy – battling it out to avoid the dreaded drop.
On Saturday at Poynder Park it was another nail-biter against table-toppers Hillhead/Jordanhill.
Greg Ponton put Kelso ahead on 13 minutes with a well-taken try in the corner.
The Tweedsiders played the conditions well, but you felt they needed 20 points to make this a contest before half-time. Ponton converted and later added a penalty to give his side a 10-0 lead at the break. It didn’t seem enough, especially when Hills crossed for two tries in the first 15 minutes of the second period, courtesy of Gus Twaddle and Will Goulden.
But Kelso dug deep and Andy Haig appeared from nowhere to put them five points clear with a scorching try, but the score of the match came on 76 minutes when Iain Moody broke clear and recycled the ball to Andy Tait who found Dom Buckley. His long pass reached MeeKaaEel Hartley, who sprinted to the line in his final home game before returning to South Africa.
Kelso survived a late scare when a quick penalty was taken by the visitors. A cheeky kick caught Kelso napping and Twaddle collected the ball to dash in and score.
He converted to bring his team within three points, but it was too little, too late as the homesters hung on for the four precious points. A superb win – and on this form they will surely protect their Premier Two status.
You can watch highlights of the game at www.BordersRugby.net on this week’s edition of Borders Rugby Roundup.
Kelso: A. Osman, G. Ponton, M. Hartley, K. Utterson, A. Haig; P. Hune, A. Tait; F. Young, C. Riddell, B. Lyburn, S. Carnegie, N. Ioane, G. Riddell, L. Mitchell, I. Moody. Subs: D. Cowan, L. Tarry, R. Glendinning, D. Buckley.