Sat 16th Sept 2017 - Aberdeen V Kelso 1st XV (44-24)
BT National League Division 1
Aberdeen Rugby 44 Kelso 24 half time 10-14
Although football matches on neighbouring pitches had been called off, Rubislaw was deemed to be playable but was bound to cut up after the incessant rain over the previous few days. An early exchange of missed penalties only delayed the scoring as after 7 minutes Ian Sim scored a delightful try for Kelso after some fine continuity play by the whole team, followed by a delayed pass to set the burly winger free to race round at the posts. Craig Dods kicked the easy conversion.
From a scrum in their own half, Kelso worked the ball to Sim who burst through between the centres. Quick ruck ball left captain, Andy Tait, with a wide open gap for him to race over 60 metres, with support on both sides, to score below the sticks for Dods to have another straightforward conversion. Heady stuff from the visitors and a 14-0 lead!
It was not to last, as Sam Knudson reduced the arrears with a 35 metre penalty. This was further reduced when a Kelso passing move broke down on their own 10 metre line and Aberdeen moved the ball slickly to wing Matt Arnold who scored close enough to give Knudson an easy kick for the extra points.
The wind seemed to be picking up and Kelso only had another 10 minutes with this advantage but solid defences and a bucket load of dropped balls led to no further scoring to take the Borderers into the half time dressing rooms at 14-10 ahead.
Aberdeen definitely had the more inspiring team talk at the interval as they came out and scored straight away through Greig Ryan’s try and Knudson’s conversion. Dods immediately brought Kelso level with a penalty but after that the wheels came off for Kelso with the Granite City men running amuck through some sparkling handling, good work on the ground, missed tackles and a little luck. Tries came at an alarming rate through Chris Jollands from a driven line out, Matt Arnold, for the bonus point try, from an overthrown lineout back in the Aberdeen 22, Alex Ratcliffe from a missed tackle, Matt Arnold for his hat trick from a crisp passing move and finally from Grant Walker from an interception on his own 22 line by Knudson . Thankfully, for Kelso, Knudson was having an off day with his kicking. In the opening 30 minutes of the second half, Aberdeen scored 6 tries and 34 points.
All Kelso had to play for now was a losing bonus point. This proved to be beyond them as they plugged away on the hosts’ line and after a succession of penalties, which Kelso popped into touch, and a yellow card for replacement Callum Reddish, after the accumulation of penalties, Kelso did score at the posts through Josh Irvine, with Dods drop kicking the conversion to the sound of the referee’s final whistle.
All in all, a chastening experience for Kelso after such a promising start!
Kelso team: Craig Dods, Ian Sim, Ross Cooke, Gregor Mein, Pierre Ebah, Andrew Skeen, Andy Tait.
Sam Karlsen, Ross Henderson, Cato Graur, Paudie Lawlor, Heino Geiser,Ally Johnston, Kevin Dryden, Josh Irvine
Replacements: Blair Robertson, Kieran Cooney, Ian Wallace, Phil Hume and Greg Ponton
Scorers: Ian Sim, Andy Tait and Josh Irvine tries with Craig Dods 3 cons and 1 pen