Sat 19th Aug 2017 - Alnwick V Kelso 1st XV (29-31)
Kelso travelled to Alnwick in what was their last preseason match before the BT National Cup match with Cartha QP next weekend.
It was a very windy day at Greensfield but the sun greeted the teams at kick off and the stage was set for a tough match for both sides.
The home side started at a frantic pace and really took the game to their visitors. Kelso missed tackles and caused their own downfall and found themselves 17-0 down after just 20 minutes. Alnwick were very fast in the forwards and their ferocious rucking was starving Kelso of any ball.
Kelso soon got their act together and were enjoying some very good spells of play, some strong running from the forwards was complimenting the slick backs play.
An excellent break from Centre Ross Cooke created an overlap but the pass from Cooke couldn't find Arran Jackson and the chance went begging.
A rampaging run from speedster Paudie Lawlor took play to within 5 metres of the line but Kelso couldn't convert the territory into points.
It wasn't long before Kelso got points on the board, it was Scrum Half Phil Hume who showed some good strength and determination to get over the line. Phil Converted his own try and it was game on!
Alnwick hit back right on the stroke of half time and it was a sickening blow for Kelso who had really got back into the game.
The second half started off as a patchy affair with both teams losing the ball in contact.
Kelso were the first team to settle down and the Kelso forwards were now starting to dominate the scrum. Alnwick were getting penalised for scrum infringements which was helping the black and whites get some good territory in the Alnwick half of the the pitch.
Heino Gaiser was next to get a try, the South African had a very good game in the Kelso back row and took his try well. Hume added the extras and the Tweedsiders tails were and truly up.
Kelso then scored the best try of the game when Gregor Mein finished off a move which involved both the forwards and the backs. The former Gala man had a very solid game in attack and defence and looks a very good signing for the black and whites.
Kelso got themselves in front for the first time on the day when flyer Angus Roberts scored a great try. It was fantastic to see Angus back in action after a horror ankle injury sustained at Melrose sevens.
Alnwick then extended their lead when they scored a try in the corner.
A fine individual try from Josh Irvine then drew Kelso level in the match. Irvine had an excellent game in the open side flanker position, the former Gala man carried a lot of ball all afternoon and was solid in defence.
Craig Dodd stepped up and slotted a beautiful cross wind conversion. Kelso led with only a few minutes left in the match.
Alnwick then had a chance to win the match when they won a penalty right in front of the posts. The replacement full back stepped up but sliced his kick wide.
Kelso held on for the victory.
It was a very entertaining game between 2 very good sides. Ideal preparation for the season ahead and I am sure coach Gary Stevens would be delighted with his sides performance, especially coming from 17-0 down.
Thanks to all the folks who made the trip south and cheered on the lads