Sat 23rd Sept 2017 - Kelso 1st XV V Dundee (3-17)

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Kelso 3 Dundee HSFP 17 (HT 0-12)

Kelso welcomed visitors Dundee to Poynder Park on Saturday with both sides really needing the win. Dundee, by their high standard, had endured a relatively slow start to the league season and Kelso were desperate to give a good performance after their 2nd half collapse at Aberdeen the previous week.

The visitors kicked off and meant business from the off. Dundee didn’t give their hosts any time to settle and very straight at Kelso through their hard running forwards but their backs were also not shy at throwing the ball wide.

The home side really struggled to get any ball in the opening period and it was no surprise wen Dundee went ahead with a try through their huge tighthead prop Alan Brown. The visitors spend a lt of time in the Kelso 22 before their forwards drove them close to the Kelso line, Brown was on hand to smash his way over from just a couple of metres out. Andrew Hamilton was unlucky with his conversion.

The Poynder Park faithful were hoping that this would give their side the wakeup call but unfortunately it was Dundee who were continuing to dominate possession and territory.

This was a real physical affair and that was evident went Dundee 2nd row Neil Turnbull came off with an eye wound that you would usually see in a Rocky film! To be fair to Turnbull, he was patched up quickly and straight back out for more!

Kelso had a good chance to get point on the board after Dundee were penalised for being offside, an offence I thought they committed most of the 1st half. Craig Dods stepped up but missed the relatively easy chance by his standards.

Dundee extended their lead with a good break away try. Ronan Joy finished the move off to score in the corner after what was a huge forward pass this was witnessed by everyone but unfortunately missed by the officials. Andrew Hamilton slotted a lovely conversion from the touchline to extend Dundee’s lead.

The home side then had another good chance to get points on board before the break. A superb kick to touch from a penalty by Dods gave some excellent field position in the Dundee 22. Unfortunately for Kelso, the lineout went completely wrong and Dundee cleared the ball to safety.

The home side could have no argument going into the half time break losing by 12 points as Dundee were the better side in the opening 40 minutes.

Head Coach Gary Stevens must’ve given his players a roasting at half time and it seemed to work as they were straight on the offensive from the kick off.  The Poynder park faithful were hardly back in their seats as Craig Dods slotted a penalty to get Kelso on the board.

Kelso had another great chance to get points on the board after another great kick to touch from a Dods penalty. Unfortunately for the Tweedsiders, the lineout went completely wrong again and the danger was cleared by Dundee.

The Black and Whites were definitely on top in the second half and were so close to getting a try scoring opportunity after a sweet kick from Dods but the bounce of the ball evaded Iain Sim and unfortunately the ball went into touch.

It was all Kelso and they were again into the Dundee 22. The Kelso forwards drove a maul into close to the Dundee try line but the pass from Dods bounced off Iain Sim and again Dundee managed to clear the danger.

The home side were relentless and they were again into the Dundee 22 after some fine thumping runs from Paudie Lawlor, Gregor Mein and Josh Irvine. Phil Hume looked like he was through a gap but unfortunately he couldn’t hold onto the ball and yet again Dundee managed to clear.

Dundee then hit Kelso with a massive sucker punch. Kelso had the ball and were attacking in the Dundee half but a loose pass was knocked on and Dundee were on the counter attack. After a couple of exchanges, the try was finished off by Flanker George Arnott. The Dundee back row man had an outstanding game for his side and was a threat all day long.

Kelso had one last chance to get a losing bonus point and a nice backline move broke down when the pass from Skeen was below the knees of Greg Ponton and the chance went begging.

Dundee held on for the win but Kelso would feel aggrieved that they didn’t get anything from the game. Gary Stevens was not happy with the overall performance and accuracy of the Kelso play. It’s clearly something to work on at training this week as the black and whites travel to face Falkirk next weekend.

It was a thunderous game and there would be a few very sore bodies on Saturday night but no one could fault the commitment from both sides.