Souters blown away by born-again Kelso

Kelso 35

Selkirk 3


FIONA SCOTT reports from Poynder Park

SELKIRK took their foot off the gas in this derby match and were punished mercilessly by local rivals Kelso.

Poor scrummaging and handling errors amongst other things resulted in the Souters losing their foothold on their fourth place, while the hosts were given a boost with the much-needed victory.

It was the visitors who put the first points on the board when David Cassidy kicked his first penalty on three minutes.

The hosts levelled through a similar effort from Greg Ponton, who put Kelso in the lead with another three-pointer in the 24th minute.

Shortly after, Selkirk were reduced to 14 men as Gordon Patterson was sent to the sin-bin for trying to slow the ball down.

Frenchman Clement Lacour filled the hole in the front row, but Kelso still managed to turn the Selkirk scrum in the next move and, after a bit of hard work from the home forwards, Stuart Lowrie was shoved over the line for the first try of the game. Ponton missed the conversion, but added a penalty two minutes later to widen the gap to 14-3.

Some late afternoon sunshine brightened the pitch for the second half, but it did nothing to warm the spirits of the players and both teams were soon down to 14 men when Neil Darling and Derek Welsh were sent to cool their heels for 10 minutes after tempers got a bit frayed.

Kelso managed better with the lack of numbers and continued to batter away in the Selkirk 22 until Lowrie drove through a cluster of bodies to dot down over the line. Ponton made the conversion.

Back to capacity and the battle continued with the hosts always looking on top of things.

Greg Minto ran through to touch down, Ponton converting, as the game moved into the closing stages.

And, with the prospect of a bonus point dangling like the proverbial carrot, Kelso turned up the tempo even further.

In the second minute of injury time, they were gifted their chance and took it. A handling error from the visitors on the break from their own 22 saw Ross Henderson pluck the ball from midair to run over the tryline and score.

Ponton converted, and after another couple of minutes, Kelso encamped once again in the Selkirk half to run out deserved winners.

Kelso: G. Ponton; G. Mulroy, R. Minto, D. Buckley, G. Minto; M. Chester, A. Tait; S. Lowrie, C. Riddell, A. Marsh, I. Wallace, D. Seed, J. Stevenson, E. Ford, D. Lowrie. Subs: G. Harkins, D. Welsh, R. Henderson, A. Haig.

Selkirk: F. Harkness; S. Hendrie, D. Cassidy, R. Nixon, D. Clapperton; R. Banks, M. McVie; G. Patterson, S. Forrest, R. Taylor, C. Marshall, R. Aglen, N. Darling, C. Johnston, A. Renwick. Subs: C. Beattie, P. Forrest, C. Lacour, E. McDougall.