Narrow win for Jed in annual contest

Kelso president Jim Hewit, with Kenneth Ballantyne's grandchildren, presents the cup to Jed captain Gregor Young (picture by Gavin Horsburgh)
Kelso president Jim Hewit, with Kenneth Ballantyne's grandchildren, presents the cup to Jed captain Gregor Young (picture by Gavin Horsburgh)

Kelso 24, Jed-Forest 29

Kelso welcomed great rivals Jed-Forest to Poynder Park at the weekend for the annual Kenneth Ballantyne Memorial Trophy.

The hosts were missing a good few regular starters but it gave Adam Roxburgh a chance to use a large squad and give some players from the 2nd team a deserved start for the 1st XV.

Kelso started the match at a frantic pace and took the game to Jed through the forwards.

It wasn’t long before prolific scorer Andy Tait scurried his way through a non-existent Jed defence at the ruck and this was exactly what the home side deserved. Craig Dods added the extras.

Jed were soon on the attack themselves and nearly scored a cracking try through winger Robbie Shirra-Gibb. The winger looked like he was in at the corner but three or four Kelso tacklers managed to put

him into touch.

The visitors were soon on the scoreboard – a golf-style duff from Craig Dods presented Lewis Young with attack ball and he set off down the wing. After involving his brother Gregor, then Robert

Hogg, it was left to Monty Mitchell, who broke two Kelso tacklers to score at the corner. Young Jed stand-off Robbie Yourston added a fine conversion.

Jed had their tails up and looked to have gone over again when Lewis Young finished off a very impressive back line move but referee Colin Reavley brought play back, as one of the Jed passes was

adjudged to have been forward.

The game was becoming hugely physical, as expected from a Kelso v Jed Border derby. Jed then lost Lewis Young through a head knock. It was a very unlucky incident where Young was tackled high as he was going to ground. No hint of foul play and purely an accident.

The Kelso pack then managed to create a good score for home hooker Nick Hart. A fine lineout take by Ian Wallace set up the driving maul and this took Kelso to within five metres. When the maul collapsed, the ball was recycled and Andy Tait fed Hart, who smashed his way over the line. The former Stewarts Melville man has had an excellent season for the black and whites. Dods missed the conversion.

This see-saw match saw the visitors get over the line next, when Jed winger Robert Hogg finished off a very slick back line move by Jed and, despite a thumping hit in the corner, he still got over for the

try. Yourston landed another fine conversion.

Kelso had the chance to go into the interval in front but declined the chance of the three points and kicked the penalty to touch. Unfortunately for the home side, they lost the ball from the line out and went

into the half time interval trailing by two points.

Jed started the second half the better of the two sides, with Kelo having edged the first.

Another break from the Jed backs created a chance for Callum Young and all the winger needed to do was catch the ball and he would have been in for the try. But the young flyer knocked the ball on

and the chance was gone.

Jed extended their lead when Andy Tait was adjudged to have been too eager to get his opposite number Sean Godfellow and referee Reavley gave Jed the penalty. Yourston made no mistake and added the three points.

The men from Riverside Park were now in control and scored a try through big prop Paulo Ferreira. Constant pressure on the Kelso line ended when the tighthead prop smashed his way over from two metres out.

There was no rest for Kelso and, literally two minutes after Ferreira went over, his colleagues were over again.

Callum Young made up for his knock on by finishing off a move started by Gregor Young, Callum scampering in from the 22m line. Yourston added the extras and the game looked well and truly over.

Kelso rallied and scored a try through young Angus Roberts. The ball was recycled and fed along the line and some good hands from Tony Wichary fed young Winger Roberts, who was over for the try. Dods missed the extras.

The home side had the bit between their teeth again and scored another try through winger Arran Jackson. The move was started with a fine break by stand-off Craig Dods – the former Gala man had an

outstanding match and he fed Jackson who flew in for the try. Dods added the extras and it was well and truly game on.

Kelso tried in the last few seconds to break their visitors down but it wasn’t to be.

Jed went home with the Ballantyne Memorial Trophy and both coaches were probably delighted with the workout that all the players managed to get, with the crowd geting value for money.

The game saw a return to action for Tony Wichary after surgery and it was fantastic to see him playing for the black and whites again.