Sat 20th Oct 2018 - Kelso V Hamilton (39-8)
Tennant’s National League Division 1
Kelso 39 Hamilton 8 half time 17-8
After a disappointing performance last week at Gala, Kelso had some catching up to do to rekindle faith in their supporters and they did just that on a fine autumn afternoon with the pitch and ball dry, with overhead conditions a bit blowy.
Kelso played into the wind in the first half and soon took the lead with a Craig Dods penalty from 35 metres after an early tackle. The lead was short lived, however, when Hamilton strung a few phases together and put in a deft kick into the hosts 22. The line out was lost by Kelso and despite initial strong defence, the visitors left winger, Max Priestly, burst through a couple of ineffective tackles to scamper in from 20 meters. The conversion was missed but there were worrying signs with regard to the simplicity of the try.
Kelso had to wait 10 minutes to regain the lead. They spurned the chance of an easy penalty and tapped the ball. That move never came off for them thanks to a forward pass but good play by Gregor Mein and Iain Sim was followed up by Izzy and Dods who eventually went over near the posts to give himself an easy conversion. The next try followed soon after when a good run by Arran Jackson was taken on by Sim. Dods and Murray Hastie continued the move for Gregor Mein to score at the posts. Again, Dods slotted the conversion.
An intervention by the stand side Assistant Referee looked worrying for Hamilton’s Robert Brown but his act of foul play resulted in a penalty only. By now, Izzy was out of the game with an injury so reducing Kelso’s line out capabilities and there followed an encouraging passage of play by Hamilton resulting in a penalty by Owen McLeish to narrow the gap to 17-8. That could have been closer had it not been for a stunning tackle in the corner by Angus Roberts after Hamilton had broken out and breached the hosts’ defence.
For once, Kelso were on the credit side in terms of the penalty count as they only conceded 3 in the first half. They must have been happy with themselves with their generally solid defence as they repelled most of what Hamilton threw at them. Their scrum, which had been a weakness last week, was also standing up well.
The second half produced more of the same with the forwards moving the point of attack with their quick tip ons and this style soon produced the next try. Hamilton conceded yet another penalty and a yellow card to Greg Brodie, and Dods and Sim combined to put captain, Phil Hume, over for another simple conversion for Dods.
Sim broke out from deep in the Kelso 22 and slipped a pass to Roberts who chipped past the last defender but was obstructed to give Dods another easy penalty shot.
A high kick by Dods was not dealt with by the visitors defence and this led to the Kelso forwards winning a scrum penalty to take the play into the Hamilton red zone for Roberts to flop over for the bonus point try and another Dods conversion.
5 minutes later, Roberts finished off the next assault on the Hamilton line when he was involved twice in the play. For once the magic kicking boots let Dods down and that finished the scoring at 39-8. The last 10 minutes, however, was still full of action with some tremendous defence by the Kelso forwards. Gareth Clarke tested the referee’s patience somewhat and got an early finish to his game with a yellow card. The Assistant Referee picked up another instance of foul play by the visitors and one can only assume that he and the referee, in the discussion, did not get a number and it was only a penalty.
To the delight of the Poynder Park faithful, the referee called it a day with a fine win for Kelso and a 3 place jump up the league and now sitting on 12 points as a result of the other scores on the day. They can now travel with more hope for their next 2 vital games against Cartha QP and Dundee High.
All in all, a good day at the office with a much improved scrum and a much reduced penalty count.
Kelso team: Murray Hastie, Iain Sim, Angus Roberts, Gregor Mein, Arran Jackson, Craig Dods , Phil Hume, Michael Downer, Charlie Marshall, Blair Robertson, Robert Hastie , Cormac Izuchukwu, Cameron Brown, Kevin Wilson, Kris Mein
Replacements: Rhys Morgan, Gareth Clark, Andy Tait, Alex Thompson, Ryan Ford
Kelso scorers: Angus Roberts 2, Phil Hume, Gregor Mein tries and Craig Dods 1 try, 4 conversions and 2 penalties