Kelso get past Peebles in Border League clash

Kelso 24, Peebles 14

By Norman Anderson
Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 6:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 6:25 pm
Conditions made it tricky for Kelso, in black and white, and Peebles (picture by Gavin Horsburgh)
Conditions made it tricky for Kelso, in black and white, and Peebles (picture by Gavin Horsburgh)

Kelso entertained fellow Tweedsiders, Peebles, in a Booker Border League Pool B game last Friday night.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, with the recent poor weather, the elements did not help the flow of the game.

It is a strange time of the season, as clubs can go for a few weeks without games, so this was the ideal opportunity for Kelso and their guests to keep match fit.

Peebles still have an outside chance of promotion from National 2, with seven games remaining, and only three points separate the top four sides in the league. Kelso still need a few league points to be secure in their position in National 1.

It was blowy but the pitch was surprisingly firm. Kelso made a cracking start to the game and should have been over for an early try but mishandling cost them.

The try, however, was not long in coming and, after Kelso scrummed a penalty, the ball was worked out to Mark Wilson, who sped over in the corner.

Craig Dods missed the difficult conversion.

Although they lost their stand-off, Greg Raeburn, through injury, Peebles came into the game and, eventually, Callum Anderson was forced over for they try near the posts, so giving his brother Donald a simple conversion to take the visitors into the lead.

Following an assistant referee intervention for foul play, Kelso popped the ball into the corner, with Alex Thompson winning the line out.

An initial burst by Paudie Lawlor took play up to the Peebles line and, on recycling, the backs spun the ball along the line for Dwain Patterson to sail over, giving Dods the chance to slot the conversion after 25 minutes.

A series of scrums in the hosts 22 allowed Peebles to produce one big effort and a push over try, awarded to Kieran Brown, was the obvious conclusion to their superior scrummaging. The conversion, by Anderson, was successful and that was the visitors back in the lead.

The advantage, however, was short-lived, as Kelso drove a line out and Alex Thompson was accredited with the try which, again, was not converted, but it took Kelso up to 17-14 ahead.

A flashy bit of showboating by Kelso almost cost them dearly as Peebles broke upfield and won a penalty. But Anderson had the misfortune of hitting the post, with no one following up.

The second half started with all the play being in favour of Peebles as they were forced to handle into the wind, as kicking was a lottery.

It took Kelso 15 minutes to get into the game and that was only to get involved in a general misunderstanding where the players basically all fell out with each other. However, the referee and his two assistants sorted it out.

This was followed by a second try for Alex Thompson, when he charged down the Peebles scrum half’s clearing kick and won the race to the line for

a fine opportunist try.

Craig Dods kicked a wonderful conversion from the touch line as his effort ricocheted off the left-hand post and over.

This was the bonus point try and it looked as if Kelso were home and hosed but the National 2 side belied the league positions by continually threatening the Kelso line.

A lack of composure, a propensity to concede penalties (16-11 against Peebles) and some solid home defence was all that kept them at bay.

For both teams, the game meant the momentum was maintained in view of the remaining league games and so the crowd went home moderately happy with a win for Kelso, without playing too well, and the Peebles coach wondering how they managed not to record any points in the second half.