Derby disappointment for Kelso as Selkirk recapture winning touch

Selkirk's Aaron McColm is ringed by a circle of Kelso opponents (picture by Grant Kinghorn).
Selkirk's Aaron McColm is ringed by a circle of Kelso opponents (picture by Grant Kinghorn).

Selkirk 25, Kelso 15

A late change to the Kelso line-up meant Robert Hastie started this Tennent’s National League Division 1 clash instead of Cormac Izuchukwu, who did not last the warm-up.

That was only the start of Kelso’s problems, however, as they began the hunt for their season’s first league win, while Selkirk were determined to atone for a poor performance last week at Hamilton.

An early break by Aaron McColm took Selkirk into the Kelso 22. A Kelso scrum was driven off the ball and Peter Forrest was set up for the opening try, which was not converted.

Kelso built some pressure at the Selkirk end and had a chance to score when Craig Dods charged down a clearing kick but the hosts won the race for the touchdown.

Play went back upfield for Rory Banks to slot a penalty for an offside by Kelso.

Continued pressure looked like paying off for Kelso but an interception by Rory Banks took him 80 metres to score under the posts, for an easy conversion for himself, and to take Selkirk 15 points clear.

A penalty for the visitors was kicked into the corner and, from the driven line out, another penalty was awarded.

Kelso tapped and moved this one for hooker Michael Downer to crash over for an unconverted try.

By now Kelso had lost one of their potential ball winners in the line out when Cammy Brown went off with a calf injury.

A succession of penalties in the red zone against Selkirk did not seem to warrant further action by the referee and it was from another quickly-taken tap that Derek Welsh was driven over for a try to close the gap to only five points.

The Kelso scrum was in all sorts of bother and the referee eventually lost patience with them and yellow-carded Downer.

Selkirk capitalised on this when McColm cross kicked for Banks to catch and fall over the line for his second try, to take the teams in at the interval at 20-10 for the hosts.

The first taking point in the second half followed another scrum offence by Kelso, resulting in a level of disagreement among the players.

A few blows were exchanged and a referee’s assistant indicated Kelso’s Derek Welsh was the only offender and he was red-carded.

A driven line out took James Bett over for Selkirk’s fourth and bonus point try after 55 minutes.

Selkirk were unable to press home the numerical advantage, especially as Kevin Wilson was next to go to the bin for Kelso after a late tackle.

He was soon followed, however, by Lewis Martin for Selkirk after a deliberate knock on.

Kelso tried really hard as the game neared its end and got their due reward when Kevin Dryden charged down a kick for the quickly following-up Wilson to score.

Kelso were now in the position of gaining two bonus points as they struggled to get the fourth try.

It was not to be, however, and the game ended with a contented Selkirk taking the five league points with a 25-15 win.