Kelso close gap on Melrose in rugby’s Tennent’s National League 1 with derby victory

Kelso have made up ground on Melrose in Tennent’s National League Division 1 after beating their Borders rivals 18-13 at home on Friday night.

By Darin Hutson
Monday, 22nd November 2021, 6:56 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd November 2021, 6:56 pm
Bruce McNeil in action for Kelso earlier in the season (Photo: Gavin Horsburgh)
Bruce McNeil in action for Kelso earlier in the season (Photo: Gavin Horsburgh)

The Poynder Park side, on 33 points from 11 games, are now just one league place and two points behind their third-placed visitors.

Terry Logan and Andy Tait scored tries for the hosts, with Murray Hastie adding a conversion and two penalties.

Melrose’s try-scorers were Struan Hutchison and Mike Mvelase-Julyan, with David Colvine contributing a penalty at 12 minutes.

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Next up for Kelso after Friday’s match, doubling up as a Border League fixture, is a visit from Cartha Queen’s Park on Saturday, with kick-off at 3pm, and Melrose are on the road at Heriot’s Blues, with proceedings beginning an hour earlier.

Gala, not in action at the weekend after having their scheduled home game against Biggar postponed until March next year due to Covid-19 protocols, are away to Stirling Wolves at 3pm.

“I don’t think it was much of a spectacle, to be honest, but Border derbies are won with a lot of heart and passion and I think we showed that in abundance,” Kelso player-coach Bruce McNeil told Borders Rugby TV afterwards.

“We are slowly but surely becoming a fairly tough team to beat and for me that’s the most pleasing thing.

“If teams are going to beat us, we like to make sure they have to work for it.

“We’re not the finished article – we know we’ve got a massive amount to work on – but sometimes you just have to win and it’s better to win ugly than to play well and lose.”

Melrose’s Richard Ferguson added: “Kelso were excellent. They probably didn’t do anything that surprised us, but what they did, they did it really well.”