On a hot, sunny afternoon, Kelso travelled to play league leaders St Boswells knowing that they needed a victory to keep their title hopes alive.
Winning the toss, they elected to bowl first in what turned out to be a tense, exciting, and at times over-competitive match.
Kelso spurned a couple of chances before getting their breakthrough, Tim Whightman taking two quick scalps in Elliot Ruthven and Jamie Glover.
Captain Steven Broom and Scott Ruthven then steadied the ship and Broom reached his 50 off 59 balls before pushing a defensive shot to bowler Jake Galbraith to leave the home team on 91-3.
Scott Ruthven was in good form and continued to score well, supported by the more wary Kathryn White, and they pushed the score on to 121 before White skied a drive to Whiteman for 10. The home side were dealt a double blow when big-hitting Scott Turnbull was trapped lbw first ball.
Kelso continued to fight, taking three quick wickets. Scott Ruthven reached a classy 50 and decided to push on the run-rate. He was eventually caught by Phil Dunkley for 57, while Rory Elms became Steven Patterson’s third wicket – cleaned-bowled with the home team on 161.
Bryan Potter and Alasdair McIlroy batted sensibly at the end to ensure the home team used all their overs and passed the next bonus point target to reach 176.
With a good score to defend the hosts got off to a great start when Thomas Galbraith picked out Jamie Glover at square leg for a duck.
This brought together Dougie Wilson and Aussie Tim Whiteman and Kelso’s fightback started.
Both played steadily, giving the home team very few chances. Scott Turnbull bowled very well and tied up one end, building the pressure on the visitors, bowling 10 overs and only conceding six runs.
Slowly the wickets fell, but Kelso reached 100 and looked in a good position.
Then the home team began to regain control.
Stevie Patterson looked in fine form, but lost two partners in Thomas Grindle – who skied an Elms ball to Scott Ruthven – and then the same man clean-bowled Jake Galbraith with Kelso on 122.
Kelso once again launched a counter-attack with Patterson and Dunkley in 20/20 mode and began to look favourites.
Captain Broom had other ideas for the home side and Dunkley was rushed into another big shot and skied to Glover with Kelso on 154.
The game was effectively sealed a couple of balls later when Patterson returned for a suicidal second run and was easily run out.
St Boswells bowlers had enough skill and runs on the board to contain the last two batsmen and grasp victory.
St Boswells only need to pick up a single point in one of their last two matches to take the Border League title.
S. Broom, c & b Jake Galbraith 50
E. Ruthven, c J. Galbraith b Whiteman 12
J. Glover, c & b Whiteman 1
S. Ruthven, c Dunkley b Whiteman 57
K. White, c Whiteman b T. Galbraith 10
S. Turnbull, lbw b T. Galbraith 0
E. Hunter, lbw b Patterson 6
J. Broom, b Patterson 3
R. Elms, b Patterson 1
B. Potter, not out 7
A. McIlroy, not out 6
Total for 9 176
D. Wilson, c McIlroy b Elms 47
T. Galbraith, ct Jamie Glover b Elms 0
T. Whiteman, lbw b Elliot Hunter 23
R. Taylor, c Broom b Hunter 3
J. Gibson, c McIlroy b Broom 17
T. Grindle, c S. Ruthven b Elms 8
S. Patterson, run out 23
Jake Galbraith, b Elms 4
P. Dunkley, c Glover b Broom 12
M. Henderson, not out 6
J. Galbraith, not out 4
Total for 9 169