Tweedsiders take the honours in close game

Ross Henderson weaves his way through the Peebles defence
Ross Henderson weaves his way through the Peebles defence
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As you would expect on the first Saturday in December, it was just a wee bit nippy after a fairly deep frost for the first game in the second half of the National League season.

It was also the first match for the hosts in the Booker Border League.

Kelso did not take long to set the scoreboard rolling after Tony Wichary was taken out by his opposite number. Unlike the previous week, when Kelso tended to put the penalties into the corners, Andrew Skeen had no hesitation in going for goal from 35 metres.

Peebles had a chance straight away to level the game, but they chose to kick into the Kelso 22 after the hosts had been caught offside at a ruck. That came to nothing and Kelso moved upfield to receive another chance at goal when Peebles again were found guilty of a late tackle. Skeen missed the kick, but his drop goal attempt after Kelso pushed the visitors’ scrum off the ball was successful.

The Tweeddale men came back into the game and, when the ball was moved out to the left, Cameron Pye scuttled over in the corner to score the first try of the game. Greg Raeburn slotted the conversion from the touchline.

The lead, however, was short-lived as Callum Rowlandson and Ross Glendinning drove the ball up after the kick-off. Another penalty ensued and Skeen reclaimed the advantage for Kelso.

Just on half-time, the homesters recycled the ball several times and with some penetrating drives, the position was created for Skeen to pop over his second drop goal to take Kelso clear at 12-7.

The second half started with an immediate response from the visitors with Raeburn kicking a penalty. This stung Kelso into action and after a tremendous burst by Ross Henderson, the ball was taken right up to the Peebles posts where they transgressed and Skeen slotted a similar effort.

A quickly-taken penalty and a big drive by Rowlandson then took Kelso into a prominent position and Lewis Wichary’s half-break was just enough for Kelso to breach the Peebles defence. Several phases later, and under cover of darkness, Andy Tait was able to sneak round the blind side for a score in the corner.

Kelso immediately regained the attacking initiative and the visitors conceded another penalty which was popped into the corner. The catch and driven lineout was enough to see Rowlandson over for an unconverted try.

The visitors were not to be undone and struck back after some Kelso indiscipline. A driven lineout saw replacement Lynton Brink crash over for a touchdown close enough for Raeburn to convert.

There was still time for a Peebles fightback, but the last 10 minutes saw defences on top until Kelso incurred the referee’s wrath and conceded a late penalty. Peebles were in reach of the bonus point and that was secured when Raeburn chipped the ball over the bar right on full time.