Kelso beat promotion

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KELSO had already snatched a last-minute win over Watsonians earlier in the season and it would seem that the hosts were out for revenge, writes Norman Anderson.

However, they never really looked like potential league winners or even aspiring to reach the play-offs.

Their pack was totally demolished by the Kelso scrum. If Watsonians did not concede the ball, they conceded a penalty and, as the first half wore on, the likelihood of further sanctions imposed by referee Iain Heard became more certain.

The Tweedsiders’ first try came after relentless support play took the game into the Watsonians 22 and Ali Marsh was driven over the line for a score. Matt Douglas converted.

Watsonians reduced the leeway with a couple of penalties by Ben Di Rollo, but that only delayed the Kelso onslaught. A succession of scrums followed by penalties brought the inevitable penalty try which Douglas converted. Another massive scrum for Kelso led to Neil Irvine-Hess being yellow-carded, leaving the home pack depleted and Gregg Minto to brush off some less-than-heroic tackling to go in at the corner to put the visitors 19-6 ahead at the break.

Watsonians had the first chance after the restart, but a poor penalty attempt followed by a huge kick downfield by Douglas relieved the pressure. A speculative kick by Andy Tait then sailed into the home team’s in goal area where the ever-alert Richard Minto was on hand to touch down for the bonus point try. Douglas converted to take Kelso 20 points clear.

The home side continued to work hard for position and, from a scrum, they managed to drive replacement prop James Forester over for a try which Di Rollo converted. Mistakes by both sides became commonplace and the only features of the latter part were a yellow card for Gregg Minto for ill discipline and the fact that Kelso decided to entertain the crowd by throwing the ball about instead of doing what had been effective all day – driving into the heart of the Watsonians pack.