Sat 3rd Nov 2018 - Kelso 1st XV v Dundee - 1pm KO (42-27)
Tennant’s National League Division 1
Kelso 42 Dundee HSFP 27 half time 22-10
After the euphoria of recent weeks including a win on the road, Kelso welcomed Dundee High to Poynder on a blowy but dry day. Dundee recorded a good win last week having come back from 22-0 at half time but today there was no such recovery for them.
The late withdrawal of Cormac Izuchukwu meant a reshuffle of the Kelso team with Kevin Wilson moving to the back row with Ryan Ford coming onto the wing. They were also short of the youngsters, Cammy Brown and Robert Hastie, from the usual squad.
Michael Downer set the scoreboard rolling after only 4 minutes when he forced his way over despite some resolute defence from the visitors. Craig Dods converted. Angus Roberts was next to score after 15 minutes when Kelso tapped a short penalty. The conversion was missed.
Some good Kelso defence resulted in a yellow card against Kevin Wilson for cynical play near the host’s line. Almost immediately, Dundee scored in the corner with full back, Fraser Mackay, going over. Remarkably, the conversion attempt was charged down by Roberts.
Kelso seemed to be given ample time to take advantage from an offside by Dundee but Hollie Davidson, on her first appearance at Poynder refereeing, brought them back for a straightforward penalty for Dods. Dundee fought straight back and after a scrum, second row, Neil Turnbull crashed over but the conversion was unsuccessful.
A most unusual event, a scrum against the head by the Kelso pack, resulted in a Kelso move going to the right and then back left for Gregor Mein to go over for a try and an easy conversion for Dods.
A succession of penalties conceded by Kelso put themselves under pressure but another heel against the head relieved the onslaught and Kelso went into the changing rooms at half time 22-10 ahead.
Kelso were playing into the wind in the second half and the question was whether 12 points was a big enough lead to hold out. After conceding even more penalties at the start of the second half Kelso weathered the Dundee storm and scored a fine try after good support play involving Andy Tait who had come on just before half time for the injured captain, Phil Hume, Dods and Roberts to put Gregor Mein in for his second try and the bonus point for Kelso. The conversion was missed.
Dundee came back into the game with a try by replacement, Alan Dymock, when they tapped another penalty after Kelso were guilty of bringing down a driven maul following a line out. Mackay added the extra conversion points.
The comeback was short lived as Mein completed his hat trick of tries after the hosts opted for scrums following penalties and the result was put beyond doubt when Andy Tait nipped over after Arran Jackson was stopped just short in the corner. Again the conversion was unsuccessful.
Tait was felled by a late tackle by the Dundee No 8 and there followed some incredibly scrappy play but during that time Dundee scored a couple of tries from broken play through Kieran D’Aeth and then Euan Grewar. So the bonus point was also secured for Dundee.
There was still time for Tait to snatch a second try at the posts. Surprisingly, the conversion was missed.
So it was, another good win for the Black and Whites in a game which was a tryfest but also a penaltyfest with a plethora of missed kicks at goal. There were close to 30 penalties awarded. A much improved scrummage helped to gain control in the game. That’s now 20 league points from the last 5 games to consolidate 8th pace in the table.
Kelso team: Murray Hastie, Ryan Ford, Angus Roberts, Gregor Mein , Arran Jackson, Craig Dods , Phil Hume, Michael Downer, Charlie Marshall, Blair Robertson, Derek Welsh, Alex Thompson, Kevin Wilson , Kevin Dryden, Kris Mein
Replacements: Rhys Morgan, Gareth Clarke, Angus Common , Andy Tait and Gregor Millar
Kelso scorers: Tries Gregor Main 3, Andy Tait 2, Michael Downer and Angus Roberts. Craig Dods 2 conversions and 1 penalty.