Battling Tweedsiders make good start count

Kelso 36

Falkirk 26


LAING SPEIRS reports from Poynder Park

A five-try first-half romp saw Kelso hitting top form against a colourless Falkirk outfit who started cold after their bus was held up on the motorway.

But after the turnaround, Kelso – perhaps feeling that their big effort had earned them a bit of time off – were exposed to some lively running nearly as good as their own early onslaught.

The wind was powerful, and each side tried to harness it. But it was Kelso’s new stand-off Mark Chester who was the most impressive kicker making sure, with four conversions, that Kelso were not going to take their foot off during their commanding first half.

The homesters were inventive where Falkirk were dull, and accurate with their hands where the visitors were groping for secure possession.

That the game changed so much after the interval was partly due to the wind which dictated the pattern of much of the match.

Kelso weathered the first five minutes before setting up the first of their sweeping attacks, but it was the second of their strong line-outs that produced a try for Chris Riddell, followed within a couple of minutes by one for Gregg Minto.

Mark Chester converted that one, Ewan Ford dropped a goal, and Kelso were coasting.

The lost art of the dribble was revived by Andy Tait, who pounced on a loose ball, controlled it all the way to the line and scored for Chester to put over the conversion.

The best try of the half came with Utterson entering the line at speed, showing some deft handling before finishing off the move himself.

Chester converted, Tait got his second far out on the right, Chester goaled again, and Kelso were 36 points up within half an hour.

At half-time the only consolation for Falkirk was when one of their travelling support won the 50-50 draw.

“Glad we’ve got something from the afternoon,” she said ruefully.

But she would have cheered up a lot when her side struck back after another 15 minutes, with tries coming through winger Chris Harris, sub Gordon McGuire, full-back Stuart McAllister and back row man Nathan Watts.

Two conversions from Jonny Hope and one from Finn Russell added to the Falkirk total, and with one bonus point they nearly secured a second in the closing minutes.

But it was the Tweedsiders’ day and set them up well for the local derby against Jed-Forest.

Kelso: K. Utterson; R. Selkirk, R. Minto, E. Ford, G. Minto; M. Chester, A. Tait; S. Lowrie, C. Riddell, A.Marsh, D. Seed, I. Wallace, J. Stevenson, S. Carnegie, R. Henderson. Subs: R. Glendinning, A.Haig, P.Hume, G. Harkins.