Watsonians 46 Kelso 12
BT NATIONAL DIVISION ONE
Despite the horrendous weather in the last couple of days, the Myreside pitch was in perfect order for Saturday’s clash between Kelso and Watsonians.
Kelso had a couple of changes from last week with Frankie Robson and Callum Rowlandson being unavailable and Andy Tait out injured.
An early penalty by Watsonians captain, Ross Aitken, fell short but Kelso were caught offside from the failed catch of the penalty kick. First blood to the hosts with Aitken’s second attempt.
Kelso soon took the lead when Donald Seed won a line out which was driven and, when the ball was released, Adam Alexander burst through to feed Richard Minto to go over for an unconverted try.
Play was fairly even for the next 10 minutes until a massive Watsonians drive took the ball up to the Kelso line. Although the defence appeared to be initially resolute, hooker, Jake Kerr, burrowed over to score the try, which Aitken converted. The lead was increased when, in the 21st minute, the city side sparkled with their handling for scrum half Reiss Cullen to finish off a move to take them 15-5 ahead.
There was a fair bit of luck to the next Watsonians try when a tricky bounce bamboozled the Kelso defence on the right only for new Watsonians winger, Julien Hyardet to score on the Kelso left. Kelso just ran out of numbers in defence on this one. Hyardet converted his own try.
Kelso took that one on the chin and tried really hard and produced a second try when they took a quick tap penalty and, from a resulting scrum, Richard Minto crossed for his second try to allow Andrew Skeen to convert.
The hosts came straight back at Kelso and scored their bonus point try after 33 minutes following a driven line out allowing Martin Christie to crash over. Worse was to come for Kelso when they conceded a free kick and Cullen, at lightning speed tapped and breached the Kelso defence to go over under the bar to give Hyardet an easy conversion. 34-12 at half time and Kelso was in all sorts of trouble.
They made a bad start to the second half but gradually started to gain possession and position and worry their hosts into conceding penalties. They could not, however, add to their score. The Watsonians pack was exerting a serious amount of pressure with their aggressive rucking making Kelso concede possession. After 62 minutes, another of Watsonians’ young guns in the Scotland under 20 training squad, Ally Miller, broke from a retreating scrum and burst through several tackles on his way to the tryline from 45 metres.
Kelso picked up another front row injury to reduce the match to uncontested scrums but there was still time for further agony for Kelso with another try which came from Chad Northcott after 68 minutes. He converted his own try.
Kelso had a couple of chances in the closing minutes when, firstly Adam Alexander had the ball dislodged as he was crossing the line and secondly, from a driven line out, Kelso were held up just on the line.
So back we came over Soutra with our tails between our legs after being on the wrong end of a 46-12 rout. 7 tries to 2, ouch!
Kelso scorers: Tries, Richard Minto (2); Con, Andrew Skeen.
Kelso team: Murray Hastie; Craig Russell, Richard Minto, Adam Alexander, Gregg Minto; Andrew Skeen, Anders Cameron; Chris Keen, Chris Riddell, Gary Holborn, Alastair Grieve, Donald Seed, Max Gordon, Liam Tait, Gareth Riddell. Subs: Ross Henderson, Allan Frame, Ian Wallace, Scott Brown, Ally Johnston.