Sat 13th Oct 2018 - Gala v Kelso (23-15)
Tennant’s National League Division 1
Kelso 15 Gala 23 half time 8-10
Storm Callum had a lot to answer for as it was a very wet day but the underfoot conditions were never going to prevent the game from being an interesting contest.
Kelso, without Craig Dods but with the return of Iain Sim, started the game as they left off against GHA last Saturday. Their early play was most encouraging and they took the lead after 7 minutes when Gala conceded a penalty for not releasing the tackled player. Murray Hastie slotted the penalty from 25 metres. A break by Gregor Mein was taken on by Cormac Izuchukwu who was bundled into touch. Kelso won the ball and a deft chip through by Murray Hastie was followed up by Kevin Wilson who scooped up the ball as he crossed the line. Hastie missed the conversion.
Dean Keddie had an immediate opportunity to reduce the leeway but his penalty was wide. This was enough to give Gala the impetus, however and their scrum started to get on top. Kelso were conceding penalties in this area and this forced Kelso into a making a replacement with Rhys Morgan coming on for Michael Downer. The situation was not really resolved as the penalties still kept coming.
It would appear that both teams were upsetting the referee as a team warning was given out to each side for their persistent infringements.
Gala were starting to turn the screw and, despite solid Kelso defence, the dam burst and Simon Fairburn sneaked over near the posts for an easy conversion for Dean Keddie.
Keddie pushed the hosts into the lead with a penalty from 35 metres after 37 minutes and there was no doubt that Gala finished the first half comfortably the better team as the break came with a 10-8 lead.
The start of the second half was mistake ridden as there were 4 scrums for knock ons in the first few minutes. Another scrum penalty gave Keddie an opportunity to take the hosts further ahead at 13-8.
After 64 minutes, Kelso were reduced to 14 as Rhys Morgan was yellow carded and with Robert Hastie sacrificed for the card to allow a prop to come on, the scrum was further weakened and Stephen Cairns was at the end of a push over try for the homesters.
A golden opportunity to increase the lead was spurned when prop, Terry Logan, missed out on a 3 on 1 overlap and was tackled much to the annoyance of team mates and supporters alike.
The next try, however, was not long in coming when, from a clean line out won on the stand side, the ball was moved all the way across to the wing, Ross Cooke, who took his try well and cut in to near the posts to make the conversion for Keddie a gimme.
Kelso had the last word, however, when a succession of penalties against Gala, resulted in a yellow card to Cameron Pate and a try for the youngster, Robert Hastie, which his namesake, Murray, converted to give the visitors a sniff of a losing bonus point but it was not to be.
For Kelso, it was a disappointment after last week. Gala would be equally disappointed for failing to secure the 4 try bonus point.
Kelso team: Arran Jackson, Iain Sim, Angus Roberts, Gregor Mein , Kevin Wilson, Murray Hastie, Phil Hume, Michael Downer, Charlie Marshall, Blair Robertson, Robert Hastie , Cormac Izuchukwu, Kevin Dryden, Cameron Brown, Kris Mein
Replacements: Rhys Morgan, Gareth Clark, Andy Tait, Alex Thompson, Ryan Ford
Kelso scorers: Kevin Wilson and Robert Hastie tries, Murray Hastie 1 con and 1 pen