Leaders take command after pair of Kelso penalties

Biggar 52, Kelso 6

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 6:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 6:32 pm
Robbie Orr flies over the line to score for Biggar, having made a 50-metre break (picture by Nigel Pacey).

The general feeling was the Border side would come out all guns blazing, as only a Border side can, with pride in the town and in their performance foremost on their minds.

That was the case for the first quarter, when their kick and chase tactic, combined with some clever lineout ploys had Biggar struggling.

These factors, and others, contributed to the visitors taking an early lead via a massive penalty kick by Craig Dods, which founds its mark from the half way line.

Kelso elected not to contest the Biggar throw at lineout time and Biggar fell short of dealing with this tactic, which saw them penalised on a number of occasions.

Other infringments allowed Kelso some respite as they were able to kick clear, although with Biggar’s back three, as always, looking full of running, this respite was short in length.

Dods added a second close-range penalty after 10 minutes as Biggar were still unable to get to grips with the match.

There was soon some light for the runaway league leaders, however, as at scrum time, they were in dominant form and able to cause havoc for the visiting pack.

This extended to possession from Kelso lineouts, which Biggar stole almost at will and which put Kelso under real pressure in both attack and defence.

On the 20-minute mark Biggar struck after a rare penalty gave them the chance to take play into the Kelso 22.

Euan Stewart drove over the Kelso line and, with Andy Jardine kicking the conversion, Biggar found themselves 7-6 ahead after their first real attacking opportunity.

The home side rather left Kelso behind after that, with further scores from Mark Bertram, Ross Bradford, Robbie Orr an d two more conversions from Jardine putting them 26-6 ahead at half time.

In the second half, Biggar’s tries came from Richard Bassett and Rowan Stewart, both converted by Jardine, plus a penalty try and a concluding score by Andrew Peacock.

Kelso flanker Fergus Common and Biggar’s Conor Lavery were shown yellow cards.