Sat 1st Sept 2018 - Kelso 1st XV v St Boswells (12-17)
Tennant’s National League Division 1
Kelso 12 Musselburgh 17 half time 12-11
Last season, the protagonists fought out a narrow Kelso win at Poynder followed by a 22 all draw at Stoneyhill. That, however, was no guide to form with both sides having major changes in personnel for the new season.
There was no reason not to expect a free flowing game, as conditions were excellent. Quite the converse was the outcome. The game was riddled with errors with both sides guilty of poor handling and uncertainty in their set piece play. Kelso, also, conceded an enormously disproportionate number of penalties.
Danny Owenson opened the scoring for the visitors when Kelso were caught offside at an early ruck. Musselburgh dominated the next 10 minutes of play and it was only after a steal in their own half when Murray Hastie kicked well into the opposition 22 and an offside gave Craig Dods the chance to tie the game with a well struck penalty. The kick off was poorly dealt with by the hosts and, following a break by Stuart Thomson for Muss, another penalty chance fell to Owenson to take the lead again.
A deliberate knock on by the Musselburgh scrum half allowed Kelso’s Dods the opportunity to level the game with a 48 metre penalty.
After 26 minutes we had the only try of the game when a high tackle by Kelso allowed Muss to put the ball into the corner and a driven line out took flanker, Jonathan Crain, over. The conversion was missed.
Penalties by Dods in the 10 minutes before half time took Kelso into a somewhat undeserved 12-11 lead at the break.
The break seemed to do Kelso a lot of good as they came out all guns blazing in the early part of the second half. This was not to last and it fell to Musselburgh to regain the lead after a Kelso scrum was disrupted and Owenson slotted the kick. A long period of pressure by Kelso was unrewarded due to the concession of penalties and after 70 minutes, Owenson increased the lead with another penalty after the Kelso back row was adjudged to have broken early from a scrum.
Kelso finished the game by exerting pressure on their visitors but, even after Owenson was yellow carded for another deliberate knock on, they were unable to breach the Musselburgh line and they fell short by 17-12.
You had to feel that Kelso had been the architects of their own downfall with their high error count, their inability to control kick offs and their propensity to conceded penalties.
Kelso team: Murray Hastie, Angus Thomson, Gregor Mein, Callum Butler, Arran Jackson, Craig Dods , Phil Hume, Andrew Wheelhouse, Michael Downer, Blair Robertson, Cormac Izuchukwu, Derek Welsh, Kevin Dryden, Cameron Brown, Kris Mein
Replacements: Charlie Marshall, Allan Frame, Robert Hastie, Liam Herdman and Ryan Ford
Scorers: Craig Dods 4 penalties