Better Kelso scrummaging amid plethora of penalty misses

A try for Kelso against visiting Dundee HSFP (picture by Gavin Horsburgh)
A try for Kelso against visiting Dundee HSFP (picture by Gavin Horsburgh)

Kelso.................................42

Dundee HSFP....................27

On a blowy but dry day at Poynder, Kelso were still feeling the joys of a win on the road, while Dundee had also recorded a good win last week, reports Norman Anderson.

The Tayside men had come back from 22-0 at half time but, on this day, there was to be no such recovery for them.

Michael Downer set the scoreboard rolling after only four minutes when he forced his way over, despite some resolute defence from the visitors. Craig Dods converted.

Angus Roberts was next to score after 15 minutes when Kelso tapped a short penalty, but the conversion this time was missed.

Some good Kelso defence resulted in a yellow card against Kevin Wilson for cynical play near the hosts’ line.

Almost immediately, Dundee scored in the corner, with full back Fraser Mackay going over. Remarkably, the conversion attempt was charged down by Roberts.

Kelso seemed to be given ample time to take advantage from an offside by Dundee but Hollie Davidson, on her first appearance refereeing at Poynder, brought them back for a straightforward penalty for Dods. Dundee fought straight back and, after a scrum, second row Neil Turnbull crashed over but the conversion was unsuccessful.

A most unusual event, a scrum against the head by the Kelso pack, resulted in a Kelso move going to the right and then back left for Gregor Mein to go over for a try and an easy conversion for Dods.

A succession of penalties conceded by Kelso put them under pressure but another heel against the head relieved the onslaught and Kelso went into the changing rooms at half time 22-10 ahead.

Kelso were playing into the wind in the second half and the question was whether 12 points was a big enough lead to hold out.

After conceding even more penalties at the start of the second half, Kelso weathered the Dundee storm and scored a fine try after good support play involving Andy Tait, Dods and Roberts to put Gregor Mein in for his second try and the bonus point for Kelso. The conversion was missed.

Dundee came back into the game with a try by Alan Dymock, when they tapped another penalty after Kelso were guilty of bringing down a driven maul following a line out. Mackay added the extra conversion points.

The comeback was short-lived, as Mein completed his hat-trick of tries after the hosts opted for scrums following penalties.

The result was put beyond doubt when Andy Tait nipped over after Arran Jackson was stopped just short in the corner. Again, the conversion was unsuccessful.

Tait was felled by a late tackle by the Dundee number eight and there followed some incredibly scrappy play.

But, during that time, Dundee scored a couple of tries from broken play through Kieran D’Aeth and Euan Grewar, securing the bonus point.

There was still time for Tait to snatch a second try at the posts. Surprisingly, the conversion was missed.

Another good win for the Black and Whites in a game which was a tryfest but also a penaltyfest, with a plethora of missed kicks at goal. There were close to 30 penalties awarded.

A much-improved scrummage helped to gain control in the game. That’s now 20 points from the last five league games, to consolidate eighth place in the table.