Sat 13th Jan - Dundee V Kelso 2pm KO (10-15)
Dundee HSFP 10 Kelso RFC 15
Kelso travelled to Dundee on Saturday in confident mood after some excellent performances of late. The home side have been enjoying some pretty good form themselves; they have managed to sneak up to 4th in the BT National 1 table after some notable victories.
It’s never an easy match at Mayfield and so it would prove.
It was a raw Saturday afternoon but then again, the 13th of January in Scotland is hardly likely to generate tropical sunshine.
The match got underway, with Dundee attacking and they went ahead after 5 minutes. Harvey Young capitalised on some mishandling in the Kelso backs to feed George Arnott, who scampered in between the posts. Young added the conversion.
A pattern for the match was emerging with the big Kelso pack looking a match for the Dundee scrum, but the Dundee backs looking the more dangerous when in possession. Harvey Young had a couple of promising breaks which came to nothing.
After 15 minutes, Kelso got on the scoreboard, thanks to the efforts of their pack. A penalty kick to the corner, a secured line out and a forward drive resulted in a touchdown in the corner for Hooker Ross Henderson. Craig Dods missed the extras.
At this stage, Dundee were struggling to find any rhythm, with handling errors bringing a halt to any momentum. Territory was fairly even, with defences on top.
Kelso then went ahead after 30 minutes when a grubber kick was played into the Dundee goal area. There seemed no particular danger but a slip by a Dundee defender left an easy score for Kelso winger Iain Sim. The try was converted by full back Craig Dods.
The penalty count was mounting against Dundee and a further infringement gave Craig Dods another penalty chance which he took.
Towards the end of the first half, Dundee managed to exert some pressure and Harvey Young kicked a penalty just before half time.
Dundee had most of the possession in the 2nd half and most of the territory, but the first half problems of handling errors and giving away too many penalties continued. Kelso were defending like Trojans, something that has been evident in recent weeks. The boys in black and white were giving absolutely everything for the jersey.
As time went on, the stop-start nature of the play continued, the weather became colder and the collective mood of the Mayfield faithful worsened as it became apparent that this was going to be Kelso’s day.
Dundee had a chance to snatch victory at the end but another handling error enabled Kelso to clear their lines and hold on until the final whistle.
This was a deserved victory for Kelso at a venue where very few teams come away with a win. Next up for Kelso is a home fixture against Falkirk at Poynder Park.
15 Craig Dods
14 Iain Sim
13 Ross Cooke
12 Gregor Mein
11 Angus Roberts
10 Andrew Skeen
9 Andrew Tait
1 Sam Karlsen
2 Ross Henderson
3 Cata Graur
4 Paudie Lawlor
5 Heino Gaiser
6 Josh Irvine
8 Kris Mein
7 Kevin Dryden
16 Charlie Marshall
17 Kieran Cooney
18 Ally Johnston
19 Kevin Wilson
20 Phil Hume