It was another fairly ordinary day at the office for Kelso who slipped down the league by a couple of places due to Aberdeen’s win and Jed-Forest’s 45-24 victory against Marr.
Playing in front of a large collection of Kelso sponsors, who were attending as a thanks for their season’s kindness, continuity of play seemed to be to the fore for the hosts as the game set off at a fair old pace.
Aberdeen soon put paid to this, however, and, after a few line-out disasters from Kelso, the visitors stormed up the field and opened the scoring after only six minutes with an Alex Hagart penalty.
The Tweedsiders failed to learn from their mistakes and Hagart repeated the feat shortly afterwards as Aberdeen ramped up the pressure.
Kelso did try to move the ball, but they were let down by the assistant referee who missed a very late tackle on Andrew Skeen. However, just before half-time, the hosts created a fine chance when Ali Grieve won a clean line-out on the stand side. Skeen made a sharp outside break and fed Richard Minto, who passed on to Murray Hastie racing into the line. Gregg Minto was on hand to finish the move near the corner. Skeen converted from far out and, amazingly, Kelso had taken the lead by 7-6, much against the run of play as half-time came.
The interval saw a complete change in the Granite City front row and a change of jerseys for Kelso.
Honest endeavour by both sides, but not much progress, was the feature of the second half. But a major deciding factor in the game came after 55 minutes when Aberdeen drove a line-out in field and Callum Rowlandson was yellow-carded for an infringement at the ensuing maul.
Despite the penalty being in front of the posts, the visitors opted for the scrum which was reset and at the next scrum, number 8 Ali Mackie picked up and drove over between the posts, giving Hagart the easy conversion.
By this time Kelso had lost two props through injury, so the scrums went uncontested. Another Grieve catch and drive allowed Skeen and Robson to make a half-chance, only for Aberdeen to infringe. Skeen kicked the penalty to narrow the gap to three points, but Aberdeen shut up shop as the hosts tried hard for the next score.
Gregg Minto seemed to be taken out by his opposite number but, despite the assistant ref’s intervention, there was no yellow card. Kelso pressurised the visitors’ line and a serious of pick-and-drives saw them close, but only for an accidental offside decision to be given and there ended the Kelso chances of victory.