PREMIER DIVISION TWO
FIONA SCOTT reports from The Gytes
NEITHER team would be particularly enamoured with this result following a dour game which was largely dictated by the weather.
Peebles got their noses in front after only two minutes when Neil Warnock popped over a penalty – and then the heavens opened.
The slippery ball made life difficult for both sides, but it was the Tweedsiders who rallied quickest and after being stopped short while making a run for the line, they too were rewarded with a penalty, and Mark Chester duly complied to level the scores.
A spell of stalemate ensued while players got to grips with the tricky conditions.
Peebles went ahead again in the 16th minute through another Warnock penalty before Kelso No.10 Chester was sent to the sin bin for entering a ruck from the side. Now with a one-man advantage, Peebles strove for the opening try, but a resilient visiting outfit refused to let them through – and, in fact, enjoyed much of the possession for the 10-minute spell.
With numbers even again, however, Peebles received another penalty, after a Kelso player failed to roll away in the tackle, and Warnock slotted his third successful kick to take the score at half-time to 9-3.
The skies cleared for the second half, making try-scoring more of an option, and Kelso grabbed the chance they had been waiting for, Ryan Selkirk taking a pass from Chester before sliding in at the corner.
Peebles struck back with a fantastic long-range drop goal from Warnock, but, seven minutes later, Kelso narrowed the gap again with a Chester penalty.
Next, it was the turn of the hosts to apply the pressure and, after a lengthy spell pushing towards the Kelso try line, and then a nervous final few minutes defending their own, Peebles recorded their first win of the season by a single point.
Peebles: N. McKay; C. Blythe, T. Walsh, D. Kilgour, D. Clancy; N. Warnock, D. Moore; A. Clark, M. Carryer, R. Milne, C. Kaindl, K. Clyde, A. Warnock, E. Jackson, D. Paton. Subs: J. Forrester, G. Hogarth, A. Brown, M. Cruikshanks.
Kelso: K. Utterson; G. Minto, R. Minto, E. Ford, R. Selkirk; M. Chester, A. Tait; A. Frame, C. Riddell, A. Marsh, I. Wallace, D. Seed, J. Stevenson, L. Mitchell, R. Henderson. Subs: G. Harkins, R. Glendinning, L. Mallin, N. Trotter.