Dundee Hs fp18
Kelso were missing their captain Dom Buckley and the injured Gary Mulroy – who was hurt in the act of scoring at Riverside Park.
The game started with a bright and breezy passage of play where it seemed that both sides intended to move the ball around.
That was well and good until the first scrum was set after about 23 minutes. That was the start of the scourge of Scottish rugby. Scrums were reset; scrums were wheeled around; scrum put-ins were reversed after they went round 90 degrees and scrums were penalised.
Dundee conceded more than 20 penalties in the game, as they tried to destroy the Kelso pack by illegal means, despite having the dominant scrum.
The first points on the board went to Kelso when Andrew Skeen slotted a penalty after 7 minutes.
However, missed tackles on Dundee centre Tim McKavanagh allowed the visitors to take the lead after 12 minutes. The try was unconverted. Skeen regained the lead with another penalty after 12 minutes but that was short-lived.
Nick Alston was just short with a long-range penalty for Dundee, but the resultant pressure on the Kelso line saw Blair Cochrane appear on the wrong wing to go over. Duncan Leese converted.
Skeen pegged back the deficit with a couple of penalties. As the Taysiders took the penalty count into double figures, referee Gordon Corry’s patience had been sorely tested and captain, Alan Brown, was shown a yellow card.
Just before the break, a hack through by Rocky Johnstone was followed up by Kev Wilson and Phil Hume, but nothing became of it and the teams were level at 12-all at the break.
The first chance of the second half fell to Kelso when Skeen took Kelso ahead with another penalty, but Leese countered with a couple of penalties to take Dundee ahead with just over 10 minutes to go.
Skeen brought Kelso level after another penalty against Dundee and Johnstone had the chance to put Kelso ahead with a long-range effort.
As the game headed for a draw, Dundee were given a gilt-edged chance after Kelso conceded a penalty in front of the posts about 35m out, but their luck was in as Leese missed the kick, with Kelso probably feeling the happier of the two sides on the day.
The game saw a few players injured and both Charlie Marshall and Liam Tait retired with knee problems, and Phil Hume looked in no little pain when he came off with a bad shoulder after a fine covering tackle.
z In last week’s report, a try was credited to Kev Wilson, whereas it was Andrew Skeen who scored.
Apologies for the error..