Kelso 10, Stirling Wolves 15
It was an interesting game which eventually came down to a magical moment for the Stirling Wolves when their winger, Brandon Mills, won the race for a kick and chase try in the last play of the game.
Jonny Hope, who had had a poor day with the boot, had an easy kick to take the points up to Bridghaugh.
For Kelso, there was only disappointment as they had the wind advantage in the second half, as well as a numerical advantage from just before half time.
Replacement, Blair Gilchrist, had a total rush of blood by stamping on the home winger, Mark Wilson. At the same time, Alex Black was yellow -carded for a high tackle on the unfortunate Wilson.
The whole game was marred by a plethora of penalties against both sides – so much so that Kelso’s Kevin Dryden had a spell in the bin when he took one for the team after a succession of offside decisions.
By that time, the Borderers were a try down when Alex Black finished off with a score after a few less than punishing tackles in the home 22.
Hope missed the kick, as he had with two earlier penalties. Kelso held up well during the sin bin period and did not concede a point.
Just before the interval, Hope did kick a penalty but, immediately after, Kelso responded with a Frankie Robson try as he finished off a slick back move by the hosts. Craig Dods converted to take the score to 8-7 at the break for the visitors.
The second half started with a controversial moment when the touchjudges disagreed on the accuracy of a Dods penalty at goal.
Kelso had a great period of ascendancy but the last pass tended to go astray.
There were another couple of missed penalties and, really, Kelso should have made better of the possession and territorial advantage. But they just went completely off the boil, with only a Dods penalty to take the lead at 10-8 to show for their play.
Stirling were hungry Wolves as the game neared completion and so it was, with Mills’ try to snatch the points.
Kelso were downcast as the referee blew the final whistle. Lots went wrong, including the inability to win any line out ball on such a windy day. It was the first home game without assistant referees and this will be difficult for all, as the referee is on his own and, with the best will in the world, he can’t see everything which is happening around him.
Kelso: Arran Jackson, Mark Wilson, Frankie Robson, Craig Dods, Robbie Tweedie, Murray Hastie, Andy Tait, Scott Hilton, Euan Knox, Blair Robertson, Alex Thompson, Derek Welsh, Cammy Brown, Archie Cowans, Kevin Dryden. Replacements: Craig Sweenie, Charlie Marshall, Harry Graves, Kevin Wilson, Dwain Patterson.