Forward pressure tells in second half as leaders beat Kelso

Kelso players aim to tackle their Marr adversary (picture by Gavin Horsburgh).
Kelso players aim to tackle their Marr adversary (picture by Gavin Horsburgh).

Kelso 9, Marr 36

A much-changed Kelso team had the advantage of the wind in the first half against the league

leaders, Marr.

They were still without regulars Angus Roberts, Arran Jackson and Robert Hastie, however, and the half was hard fought by both sides.

Kelso had some domination on the Marr line but were just unable to get over, because of stalwart defence.

Heading up to the interval, Kelso led 9-3, thanks to three penalties by Craig Dods to one by his opposite number, Colin Sturgeon.

Just on the break, the hosts were penalised and Marr chipped the kick into the corner.

The line out was won and the forwards drove over for replacement, Fraser Grant, to get the touch down, followed by a Sturgeon

conversion to take them 10-9 ahead.

For Kelso, this was as good a half as they had played for some time.

The second half, however, was a different story, as the Marr forwards got on top and pressurised Kelso into conceding penalties.

Their first try of the half actually came from Kelso pressure and an interception by Connor Bickerstaff, the Marr skipper, in his own 22.

He ran and kicked but was deemed to have been late-tackled.

The penalty went into the corner, the line out was driven – and Grant scored his second for Sturgeon to collect the extra points from the conversion.

Play was becoming fast and loose and Marr were more likely to benefit from this pattern of game.

Tony Wichary took one for the team and was yellow-carded. From the resulting scrum, number eight Ross Miller crashed over for another try and another Sturgeon conversion.

The young referee was spending a lot of time chatting to the captains, as he requested the players to calm down. Kelso lost replacement

Billy Waddell and so uncontested scrums were called in play.

Second row Dan Law scored Marr’s bonus point try after 70 minutes, with the additional two points coming from Sturgeon, and the score stayed 29-9 until almost the end.

A bizarre try was then awarded to Marr, after consultation with the assistant referee. It appeared to be a mystery where the decision came from, as even the Marr players seemed resolved to having knocked the ball on as they chased a high bouncing ball.

That try went unconverted for the only missed kick of the game – but a win for the visitors by 9-36.

Kelso were overpowered in the second half but did not seem to have been that far behind Marr.

Kelso: Murray Hastie, Gregor Millar, Gregor Mein , Kevin Wilson , Mark Wilson, Craig Dods, Phil Hume, Michael Downer, Charlie Marshall, Blair Robertson, Derek Welsh, Angus Common, Fergus Common, Cammy Brown, Kevin Dryden. Replacements: Billy Waddell, Gareth Walker, Tony Wichary, Robbie Tweedie, Kris Mein.