RBS NATIONAL LEAGUE
STUART CAMERON reports from Riverside Park
THIS was “one of the biggest games in the history of Jed-Forest.”
Those were the comments of Jed captain Gregor Young following the narrow, yet vital, victory by his team against Kelso in the driving rain at Riverside Park on Saturday.
It was a win which could provide the club with the springboard it needs to go on and save themselves from relegation.
The first half belonged to Kelso, but they turned round only 6-5 up, despite bossing territory and Jed having a big penalty count against them.
Murray Hastie kicked two penalty goals to give Kelso the lead – in the 7th and 26th minutes – but the visitors were not turning possession or territory into points because of handling errors and good Jed defence.
The one attack into the Kelso half six minutes before half-time saw David Gobby dive over for what turned out to be the only try of the match.
Only one point separated the teams at the break. Jed needed to up their game, reduce the penalty count and use the elements to drill Kelso back inside their own half. The man charged with doing the drilling was Ewan Scott, who was magnificent.
He pegged them back deep into their own half continuously.
Eight minutes into the second half, Iain Chisholm slotted a penalty to give Jed the lead, but there was drama in the 55th minute when the referee, Neil Muir, went down with what looked like a bad leg injury.
There was concern from everyone, not just for the welfare of the official, but because the players and spectators had endured these dreadful conditions, and now there was the threat that the game may be abandoned.
Luckily, the referee hobbled on and back came Kelso, winning a penalty. Michael Weekley was sent to the bin and Hastie bagged his third successful kick. At 9-8, Kelso held out, but with just four minutes to go they conceded a penalty on halfway. Up stepped Ewan Scott, a man who knows how to find the target from long distances. But these were hardly ideal kicking conditions. He nailed it, and Jed repelled late Kelso pressure in a tense finale to get the four points.
Now Jed have to do this another six times this season to stay up. The task is massive, but they believe they can do it.
Jed-Forest: I. Chisholm; Gregor Young, R. Hogg, E. Scott, D. Gobby; L. Fono-Hunt, R. Goodfellow; A. Ions, David Grieve, A. Frame, Glen Young, R. Cook, G. Elder, Donald Grieve, M. Weekley. Subs: S. Raeburn, J. Szkudro, J. Sudlow, J. Hogg, C. Gillon.
Kelso: W. Massey; D. Buckley, R. Minto, A. Alexander, G. Minto; M. Hastie, F. Strachan; K. Cooney, C. Riddell, S. Lowrie, A. Wallace, D. Seed, I Wallace, M. Robertson, D. Gillespie. Subs: A. Marsh, R. Tinlin, J. Stewart, R. Nelson, T. Wilson.