It was a horrible wet miserable day at Poynder for the visit of GHA for this very important BT league match. Both teams were in need of the points with Kelso in the more precarious position.
Dom Buckley resumed his season for Kelso after a lengthy ban early in the season and a young second row, in Kieran Dunbar and Angus Common, was selected to go with other youngsters in the pack.
The start of the game went at a million miles per hour as both team had their share of possession and were determined to defy the conditions by playing a flowing game. It was the visitors, however, who drew first blood after nine minutes when their scrum half, Peter Jericevich, broke up the right wing with a worrying burst of pace for the Kelso defence. He linked up with his support and flanker, Adam Barnett, was there to crash over for the try, giving Jericevich a simple conversion.
Kelso’s response did not take long and it was thanks to Arran Jackson who made a searing curving run off his own wing to take play into the GHA red zone. The ball was recycled and Tom Robson was on hand to rumble over for Andrew Skeen to convert to bring the game level.
A scrappy period of play was ended when GHA won a scrum against the head and the ball was spun along the back division for left wing, Alan Auld to go over in the corner after 21 minutes. The visitors’ lead was increased soon after when a delicate chip into the corner was chased down by Auld for his second try. Both conversions were missed.
As half time approached Kelso had a couple of chances but on both occasions the defence won the race for the touchdown and 22 metre drop outs were awarded.
The early part of the second half was all GHA and they were rewarded when they won a penalty for offside. Jericevich duly converted.
Immediately after that Kelso scored a try through Angus Common after good work by Skeen so there was still hope especially as Kelso had a massive amount of pressure in the GHA half. They were winning penalties and were stopped just on the line on a couple of occasions. A free kick to GHA for an early engagement allowed GHA to clear their lines and they went upfield to win another offside penalty. Again, Jericevich slotted the goal.
Going into the last few minutes of the game, Kelso threw caution to the wind and some good support play was finished off with Henri Boshoff dashing over for a try near the posts. Andrew Skeen converted to get Kelso to only four points down. There was enough time for Kelso to win the game but it was not to be and GHA took the spoils with Kelso gaining a losing bonus point.
One more game to go before the Christmas break and that is away to Marr next Saturday.
Kelso: Greg Ponton; Arran Jackson, Gary Johnstone, Louis Wichary, Mark Wilson; Andrew Skeen, Andy Tait; Henri Boshoff, Blair Robertson, Stuart Lowrie, Kieran Dunbar, Angus Common, Tom Robson, Ian Wallace, Dom Buckley
Replacements: Michael Barber Paul Grahamslaw, Kevin Wilson, Gary Mulroy, Kobus Laurens: all played
Scorers: Tom Robson, Angus Common and Henri Boshoff tries, Andrew Skeen 2 cons.