Rugby: Musselburgh 25-25 Kelso

Having gone several weeks without a game, a much changed Kelso team travelled to Musselburgh for the third fixture between the teams this season.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 29th February 2016, 9:44 am
Updated Saturday, 5th March 2016, 4:06 am

A close encounter was guaranteed as the previous games had resulted in narrow wins for the Musselburgh by 30-29 and 27-24, with them winning in the last play on each occasion.

The league programme has become somewhat of a shambles with postponed and rearranged games over the past few weeks but Kelso’s possible relegation predicament was enough to concentrate the minds of their players and supporters.

Kelso had a bad start losing Paul Grahamslaw after only three minutes. This mishap was followed immediately by the hosts’ first try by second row, William Fleming. Danny Owenson converted the try. Kelso soon equalised through centre Rocky Johnstone with Andrew Skeen converting this one and soon after slotting a penalty.

An Owenson penalty levelled the score but just on half time Arran Jackson crossed for another Kelso try and a half time lead of 15-10.

Owenson missed a long range penalty just into the second half but the hosts hit Kelso with a further salvo with two tries in the space of six minutes when Owenson converted a try by full back, Stuart Kirby.

Skeen missed a chance for Kelso to take the lead with a long penalty but the second rapid fire Musselburgh try by Number 8, Declan Slaven extended the lead to 22-15.

Skeen reduced the arrears for Kelso with a penalty but that was immediately cancelled out by Owenson. Kelso were still in bonus point territory but, after a fine run by Jackson taking play up to the Musselburgh danger area, Donald Crawford touched down for a try which was converted by Skeen.

So at 25-25, Kelso had two points in the bag with little time left. There was, however, time for a possible twist in the tail, when Owenson had a chance to snatch the game, as he had done at Poynder in October, but his long range pot at goal was unsuccessful.

Having lost a few players with injuries in the last game, Kelso could ill afford to lose more but Ross Henderson had to retire with a damaged ankle.

Four league games to go and all to play for as far as Kelso are concerned. Next week sees another important match away to Edinburgh Accies but survival is in Kelso’s own hands.

Kelso: Donald Crawford, Arran Jackson, Gary Johnstone, Kobus Laurens, Mark Wilson Andrew Skeen, Andy Tait, Paul Grahamslaw ,Ross Henderson , Blair Robertson, Donald Seed, Tom Robson, Ewan Ford , Dom Buckley, Ian Wallace. Subs: : David Leitch, Andrew Wallace, Kieran Dunbar, Lewis Mallin and Sandy Fairbairn.