Tweedsiders – and the rules – stop Hamilton at 52 points

Hamilton 52

Kelso 17


NORMAN ANDERSON reports from Laigh Bent

A NEW season, a new coach and a team with a few newcomers in it, but this was not a new result – Kelso seem to have great difficulty starting the season well and Saturday was no exception.

The game was lost in two passages of time; the first 15 minutes when they conceded 18 unanswered points and midway through the second half when Hamilton scored three tries in the space of three minutes.

Kelso did not start well and lost two early tries to a keen Hamilton side, which had gained promotion from Premier Three last season. Scott Murray ran in from distance and Ross Inglis negotiated some slipshod tackling to do the same.

Stand-off Owen McLeish converted the first try, slotted a penalty and fired over a drop goal to make it 18-0.

A try came when Andy Tait took a quick tap from a penalty and after a succession of drives, newcomer James Stevenson was driven over near the posts.

Greg Ponton added the conversion to take Kelso to 18-7 but a Chris McLaughlin converted try and another penalty from McLeish made it 28-7 at the break.

The half-time chat seemed to inspire the Tweedsiders somewhat as they had a good start to the second half and soon scored a try by captain Richard Minto after good support play and a series of drives at the line.

After new winger Ryan Selkirk was wrongly identified to have committed a foul and subsequently sin-binned, Kelso imploded defensively and they lost four tries in quick succession through John Selfridge, Rory Steele, McLaughlin again and replacement Ciarin Gilbert. McLeish’s boot added two conversions.

Kelso did get another try through Greg Ponton, but that was all they could muster. To add insult to the injury of the defeat, the referee declared that the score was 56-17.

But, on consultation with his less mathematically challenged assistant, he conceded that conversions are only worth two points and so 52 it was.

Kelso: G. Ponton, R. Selkirk, R. Minto, K. Utterson, G. Minto, E. Ford, A. Tait; A. Frame, C. Riddell, A. Marsh, D. Seed, J. Stevenson, L. Mallin, L. Mitchell, S. Carnegie. Subs: D. Cowan, A. Marshall, D. Lowrie, N. Trotter.