RBS NATIONAL LEAGUE
FIONA SCOTT reports from Poynder Park
SOME well overdue summer sunshine, coupled with the prospect of a classic Borders derby tie between two old rivals brought a large crowd to Poynder Park on Saturday.
In a game that was scrappy in patches, the hosts dominated up front and managed to take better advantage of the possession they gained.
Speaking after the match, Kelso back row man Michael Robertson said: “It’s always tough against Jed and today was no different.
“We had the wind advantage in the first half, but were only 10-0 up at the break, so at that point we were left wondering if that would be enough. We stuck in well in the second half, though, kept it going and were rewarded for that at the end.
“One of our key aims this season is to win our home games and we are managing to do that, keeping ourselves in a good position in the league so we are fairly happy with the way things are going so far.”
It was the hosts who made the early running as they pinioned Jed into their own 22 for the first five minutes, earning themselves an early pop at goal in the process. With a strong breeze behind him, Murray Hastie made light work of the penalty to put his team three points up.
In reply, Jed made a determined blast up the middle of the pitch, only to be hauled back again by referee Rob Dickson for a minor misdemeanour.
Kelso kept the pressure on and some hard work by Robertson and co allowed Richard Minto to sail in under the posts in the 12th minute, with Hastie again making easy work of the conversion.
A controlled drop on an opponent was deemed dangerous play by the ref and saw Jed hooker Scott Raeburn sent to the sin bin with 10 minutes of the first half remaining. Now playing with a numerical advantage, the hosts continued their assault on in the Jed 22 but, credit to the visitors, the score remained at Kelso 10 Jed-Forest 0 at half-time.
Both teams came out firing on all cylinders after the restart. Extreme pressure on the Jed defence led to a penalty try for Kelso, converted by Hastie, but immediately the visitors struck back with Robert Hogg evading several would-be tacklers to touch down and get the Royal Blues’ first points on the board.
A spell of stalemate ensued until the 60-minute stage, when once again the Tweedsiders went down to 14 men, centre Dom Buckley sent to cool his heels for a repeated infringement.
But, it was the hosts who collected the points during the 10-minute spell when Hastie slotted a simple penalty to stretch the lead further.
With five minutes remaining Jed put together their most successful passage of play of the game with replacements Ewan Scott and Declan Wallace linking up well for the latter to touch down in the corner. Iain Chisolm converted, but despite some more determined play by the visitors, no further scoring was recorded.
Kelso: W. Massey; F. Robson, R. Minto, D. Buckley, G. Minto; M. Hastie, A. Tait; P. Grahamslaw, C. Riddell, S. Lowrie, J. Stewart, D. Seed, M. Robertson, E. Ford, D. Gillespie. Subs: R. Glendinning, R. Maxwell, R. Tinlin, J. Pick.
Jed-Forest: L. Young; R. McFarlane, R. Hogg, S. McDonald, D. Gobby; I. Chisolm, R. Goodfellow; A. Ions, S. Raeburn, A. Croituro, S. Scott, G. Young, M. Weekley, D. Grieve, J. Sudlow. Subs: G. Slorance, J. Szkudro, G. Ramsay, E. Scott, D. Wallace.