Stewarts Melville 43
RBS NATIONAL LEAGUE
Norman Anderson reports from Inverleith
ANYONE witnessing the first 20 minutes of this game would have been impressed by Kelso’s apparent ability to control all aspects of the game.
They scored a penalty when Murray Hastie punished a Stew Mel offside, and scored an outstanding try as Richard Minto ran in from 40 metres after a sharp break by Andy Tait. Hastie converted and Kelso were 10 points up.
Stew Mel had lulled Kelso into a false sense of security. They kicked a penalty and soon after scored a fine try when stand off Mike Hanning went over in the corner. He converted and the game was level.
The game became punctuated by mistakes and penalties as the teams kept referee Iain Heard busy with the whistle and the score remained 10-10 at half-time.
The Stew Mel team talk must have been seriously inspirational and the game was decided from the 43rd to the 48th minute as the home team scored three converted tries. Turn-over ball led to Niall Shannon scoring at the posts almost immediately followed by a try from replacement prop Shannon Durrant. After a poor Kelso kick-off, and some less-than-decisive tackling, Richard Borthwick ran in for the bonus point try.
Kelso recovered from their state of shock and had a period of pressure. A penalty was kicked into the corner and from the driven lineout, Ewan Ford went in for a try in the corner. Hastie converted from the touchline to reduce the leeway.
Stew Mel, however, were not finished and scored again when Hayden Lingard finished off a handling move at the posts. Again, Manning converted.
A Michael Robertson break took Kelso up into the Stew Mel 22. The forwards drove on with Gregg Minto crashing through at the posts to give Hastie an easy conversion.
The Stew Mel backs were playing with confidence and a few passes – and a few missed tackles – later, Matt Hannay went over in the corner for a sixth and thankfully final try.
In the final minute of the game Darren Gillespie went over for a bonus point try for Kelso and again Murray Hastie was successful with a fine conversion to wrap up the scoring.
Kelso: W. Massey; A. Haig, R. Minto, F. Robson, G. Minto; M. Hastie, A. Tait; S. Lowrie, C. Riddell, A. Frame, I. Wallace, D. Seed, M. Robertson, E. Ford, D. Gillespie. Subs A. Milne, A. Wallace, J. Stewart, J. Pick.