Peebles 0 Kelso 10
3 march 2010
D. P. T Scribe at The Gytes
At a windless, mild night at the Gytes one would think an ideal night for a handling game. Alas not as mistakes plenty were made by both sides.
Kelso showed right from the start that after their victory over league leaders Stirling County the previous weekend, they were out to cement their place in Premier 2. The visitors were out of the blocks quickly forcing the Tweed Homes sponsored Gytes men on the defensive in their own 22. With little let off, Peebles defended stoutly for the first 10 minutes before a high tackle on 10 minutes in front of the posts just outside the 22 gave Kelso their first score in this Scottish Hydro Premier 2 match when Greg Ponton kicked the penalty.
A great break by Darren Kerr from defence had the home support on their feet, but he was unable to get the ball away to the supporting player inside the Kelso 22 and the visitors cleared their lines with a long kick back to the Peebles 22. From the lineout a strong breakout by Peebles was stopped on the Kelso 22 and another long kick cleared the lines.
On 21 minutes Peebles were unable to clear their own line out and Kelso won a second penalty in front of the posts which allowed Greg Ponton to land his second for a 6 point lead.
A poor kick off that did not go 10 again put the Gytes men under pressure until a break out by Neil Warnock, taken on by Dale Clancy win a penalty 35 metres from the Kelso goal. Neil Warnock's penalty went wide.
After 30 minutes, Peebles were coming into the game forcing Kelso back, and more and more of the action happening in the visitor's half. However the visitors again broke out; Dale Clancy received the second of his blue light passes and survived by getting the ball away, but as Kelso recovered their two centres combined well to get within 5 metres of the Peebles line, stopped only by the strong tackling of the home defence and the ball was forced into touch.
From the resulting line out the maul was collapsed and Kelso second row, Ian Wallace received a 10 minute rest. The interval arrived with no further score.
On the re-start, the Gytes supporters were expecting Peebles to raise their game to the level of the previous 2 games, but it just did not happen and the below par performance continued as Kelso became stronger in attack with Mee Kaa-Earl Hartley on the wing always looking a potent threat.
With only 3 minutes on the clock for the second period a penalty was awarded for a high tackle allowing Greg Ponton to stroke over his third from 35 metres straight in front of the posts for a 9 point lead.
Kelso were now controlling territory and possession to the detriment of the Tweed Homes sponsored side who were defending well but in attack were string moves together only for a knock on or turnover to halt their endeavours and allow Kelso to clear.
Ponton fired over his 4th penalty to take Kelso 12 pints clear and on 25 minutes, they stole a Peebles line and got to the 5 metre line. From the resulting scrum, No 8, Ian Moody picked up and went over for the only try of the night; an easy conversion by Ponton took the score to 19.
On 30 minutes, Steve Gee received a yellow for a second high tackle but this seemed to spur Peebles on a bit and they arguably had their best period as on attack they forced Kelso to give away several penalties in a row. it got them close but not close enough. The result probably saves Kelso from the drop to Premier 3, but it was not a game that inspired the Gytes faithful who were expecting more after the previous results against Melrose and Kirkcaldy. Certainly consistency has not been forthcoming this season and there were too many basic errors from both sides, but mainly from Peebles.
The coaches have a bit of work before the final 3 games of the league season and will be analysing the game video with a fine toothcomb. The final 3 games are Jed-Forest on 27th March, Stirling County on 3rd April at the Gytes and Dunfermline away on 17th April. Dates and kick off times may change and there is also the chance the postponed Radio Borders Border League game against Berwick will go ahead as a mid week fixture. Details will be on the web site at www.peeblesrfc.org and will be passed to Radio Borders as soon as confirmed.