Kelso RFC (17) vs Peebles RFC (11) - BT National League Division 2
Today I would like to welcome Peebles, their president
Bob Hogarth and supporters to Poynder Park.
Both teams are in a rich vein of form and this should lead
to a closely fought contest today as it was at Peebles earlier
in the Season.
Things are getting very interesting at the top of the table and
at this stage there are still a few teams vying for promotion.
I hope everybody has an enjoyable day.
Please use the club website www.kelsorfc.co.uk to get further information on the
activities of the club.
MATCHBALL SPONSOR: Ian Paterson
MAN OF MATCH SPONSOR: Ian Paterson
Kelso 17 Peebles 11 HT (7-3)
Kelso hosted Border rivals Peebles in a winner takes all scenario at Poynder Park. It was quite simple for the black and whites, win the match and they would secure promotion back to BT National 1. If the home side lost the game then Peebles still had the chance of promotion if Kelso slipped up at Aberdeenshire. A big crowd witnessed a typical physical and high intensity Border Derby
Head Coach Adam Roxburgh had to make a late change as Jack Chambers had to with draw from the side and he it meant that Blair Robertson would move to Hooker and Colin Arthur started the game at prop.
It was Kelso who made the better start to the match and they enjoyed a fair bit of ball in the early stages but the Peebles defence was resolute. Both defences in the early stages really cancelled out any attacking threat. It was feisty and you could sense the real desire from both teams.
Peebles wee the first side to get points on the board when Greg Raeburn slotted a penalty over after Kelso were penalised for not rolling away in the tackle.
The visitors were then very close to scoring the first try of the match when Scrum Half Murray Johnstone broke away down the blind side, the flying scrum half looked certain to score but a fine tap tackle by Tony Wichary put him down and Gregg Minto then managed to put Johnstone into touch. Peebles were very much on top at this point and were winning the territory battle.
Both sides were reduced to 14 men for ten minutes when Roddy Guiney and Ian Wallace had a slight disagreement, both were sent to the sin bin and Wallace was very unlucky to get his yellow card.
Kelso then went on the offensive and looked like they would score in the corner, a fine break by Arran Jackson set up a 3 on 1 overlap but the wingers pass didn’t find any of his supporting runners and the chance went begging.
The home side were getting into some good positions but were a little bit too eager to score when they could have been a bit more patient and set up some phases.
Donal Seed looked like he has scored a try but the 6ft 10 2nd Row managed to knock the ball on as he grounded it, it was getting closer for the Tweedsiders and surely their luck would change!
Kelso then did get their first try of the match through Prop forward Rhys Morgan. The Kiwi has been in magnificent form all season for Kelso and he scored a typical Morgan try when he drove over the line with three defenders trying to stop him. Greg Ponton added the conversion and the Poynder Park crowd were starting to make some noise and really got behind the players.
Peebles started the 2nd half on top and it wasn’t long before they were back in the lead. They scored a try by Murray Johnstone after he won the race to his own kick through and touched down. Raeburn missed the conversion.
Peebles then extended their lead when Kelso were harshly penalised for a high tackle. Greg Raeburn stepped up and slotted the ball between the uprights.
The Poynder Park faithful were now very nervous and you could feel the tension in the stand.
Andrew Skeen relieved the tension when he shimmied his way over the line. It was a fantastic try from Skeen after some excellent work from his forwards to get them into the red zone. Ponton kicked the extras and Kelso were in front by just 3 points.
Kelso had the bit between their teeth now and very nearly scored their 3rd try of the match. Big Paudie Lawlor looked to have scored but he knocked the ball on as he was reaching for the line.
The Black and Whites were then awarded a penalty when Peebles were penalised for side entry at the ruck. Greg Ponton stepped up and slotted the ball straight between the uprights.
Johnstone made another fine break and it looked like he would go round Kelso prop Colin Arthur but somehow the big man managed to make the tackle and put the flying scrum half into touch.
The clock was ticking down and Kelso managed to keep the ball within the forwards and several pick and go’s wound the clock down to zero and Andrew Skeen kicked the ball into touch, referee Ian Kenny blew his final whistle to the relief of the home crowd and spark the Kelso celebrations.
This was some game today and as always with Kelso v Peebles matches it was physical and everyone put their bodies on the line. The win earns Kelso promotion back to BT National 1 at the first attempt and the champagne was flowing as the players celebrated after the final whistle.
I spoke to Kelso Coach Darren Cunningham after the match and he said “it was always going to be a hard fought game with it being a Border derby but the lads showed their metal and dug deep to pull out a deserved win and promotion. It was great to do it at home and maintain our unbeaten run at Poynder Park”.
15 Greg Ponton
14 Gregg Minto
13 Ally Johnston
12 Phil Hume
11 Arran Jackson
10 Andrew Skeen
9 Andy Tait ©
1 Colin Arthur
2 Blair Robertson
3 Rhys Morgan
4 Andrew Wallace
5 Donald Seed
6 Kris Mein
8 Ian Wallace
7 Tony Wichary
16 Billy Waddell
17 Andrew Ford
18 Paudie Lawlor
19 Nik Stingl