Kelso proving quick on the draw in Scottish club rugby’s top flight
After going over three seasons in National League Division 1 without drawing once, the Poynder Park outfit have done nothing but since returning to Scottish club rugby’s top flight following over 20 years away.
They kicked off this season with a 31-31 stalemate at Musselburgh at the start of the month – also the venue for their last draw prior to that, with scores tied at 22-22, back in March 2018 – and they carried on in much the same vein at home to Edinburgh’s Heriot’s Blues at Saturday, honours ending up even on 24-24.
Given that Kelso were 14-5 in front at half-time and still 21-12 ahead at one point in the second half, that result might look like two or three points dropped, but after they were reduced to 14 men by a red card for a high tackle by prop Terry Logan on Heriot’s flanker Innes Hill, later trailing 24-21, it was probably more a case of two points salvaged by a last-gasp penalty kicked by full-back Dwain Patterson.
Those three points were among nine secured for the hosts by Patterson’s boot, the other six coming from conversions of tries by Cammy Brown, James Glendinning and player-coach Bruce McNeil.
Heriot’s tries were scored by Paul Christie at the double, Hill and Malachy Keough, with Graham Wilson converting two.
Kelso head coach Kevin Utterson is looking on his team’s draws as points dropped rather than picked up, however, telling Borders Rugby TV: “We probably should have won our game last week and we probably should have won the game this week, so that’s a big positive, but it’s a scunner to lose points we should have had.
“Obviously a red card in a game really changes everything. I think it was bit unfortunate for Terry as the guy coming into contact maybe dipped a bit but the referee made his decision and we had to adapt.
“Fair play to Heriot’s, they got themselves in front, but our boys showed the character again that they’d shown last week and they had a lot of good phases, took the kick-off and worked their way up the park to get the penalty to draw the game.
“Again, there were far more positives than nefgatives, but it’s probably one that got away from us.”
Next up for Kelso is a derby at Hawick this coming Saturday also counting for the Border League, with kick-off at 3pm.