Last season, the protagonists fought out a narrow Kelso win at Poynder followed by a 22-all draw at Stoneyhill.
There was no reason not to expect a free flowing game, as conditions were excellent. Quite the converse was the outcome.
The game was riddled with errors with both sides guilty of poor handling and uncertainty in their set piece play. Kelso, also, conceded an enormously disproportionate number of penalties.
Danny Owenson opened the scoring for the visitors when Kelso were caught offside at an early ruck.
Musselburgh dominated the next 10 minutes of play and it was only after a steal in their own half when Murray Hastie kicked well into the opposition 22 and an offside gave Craig Dods the chance to tie the game with a well struck penalty.
The kick off was poorly dealt with by the hosts and, following a break by Stuart Thomson for Muss, another penalty chance fell to Owenson to take the lead again.
A deliberate knock on by the Musselburgh scrum half allowed Kelso’s Dods the opportunity to level the game with a 48 metre penalty.
After 26 minutes we had the only try of the game when a high tackle by Kelso allowed Muss to put the ball into the corner and a driven line out took flanker, Jonathan Crain, over. The conversion was missed.
Penalties by Dods in the 10 minutes before half time took Kelso into a somewhat undeserved 12-11 lead at the break.
Musselburgh regained the lead after a Kelso scrum was disrupted and Owenson slotted the kick, before increasing the lead with a penalty after 70 minutes.
Kelso finished the game by exerting pressure on their visitors but, fell short by 17-12.