Redskins pile the pressure on rusty Tweedsiders

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Kelso 23

Hawick YM 17

FRIENDLY

NORMAN ANDERSON reports from Poynder Park

BOTH teams were keen to get a game under their belts before the restart of league rugby next weekend.

However, one coach would sleep a great deal easier than the other after the game.

Kelso had not played since their fine away win over Jed-Forest in early December and they were very rusty here, although they did eventually scrape a win against their much lower ranked opponents.

On a damp and blowy Friday night on a soft pitch, Kelso started off well with a fine try by Gregg Minto, who raced through several would-be tackles to score too far out for the conversion to be successful.

There followed a continuous period of YM pressure which ended in a well-worked try from a line-out as Wullie Blacklock burst through to score. Ali Weir converted to take the Redskins into the lead, which changed hands soon after when Kelso’s Kieran Wilkinson kicked a penalty from the YM 22.

As they were conceding a few penalties, Kelso had little chance of making headway, but a lightning strike by the combined passing of backs and forwards took play into the YM 22 where Wilkinson increased the Kelso score with a three-pointer after YM infringed.

Shortly after this, a YM passing move broke down on halfway for Richard Minto to hack through and ultimately win the foot race to touch down near the posts and give Wilkinson an easy conversion to put Kelso 18-7 ahead at the break.

The second half began with a Weir penalty for YM. Kelso increased their lead with a fine try by Wilkinson.

YM finished the game with another period of pressure and scored another try from a line-out when No.8 Stuart Graham was driven over in the corner. Weir, with the last play of the game, converted the try from the touchline to close the gap.

Kelso: K. Wilkinson; L. Mallin, R. Minto, F. Robson, G. Minto; M. Chester, A. Tait; K. Cooney, C. Riddell, A. Marsh, D. Seed, I. Wallace, G. Riddell, J. Stevenson, D. Lowrie. Subs: S. Lowrie, A. Frame, E. Ford, A. Haig.

Hawick YM: M. Douglas; R. Trimby, C. Ritson, D. McCracken, G. Desport; A. Weir, B. Campbell; B. Lilly, G. Douglas, W. Blacklock, A. Turnbull, S. Mabon, C. Robson, B. Hill, S. Graham. Subs: R. White, S. Desport, G. Welsh, L. Armstrong.