Kelso 37pts Hillhead/Jordanhill 7pts
For the small band of visiting “Hills “ supporters, the first ten minutes of this game were highly encouraging with good continuity play from backs and forwards making inroads into the Kelso defence. Unfortunately, it was illusory, as the home team thereafter dominated all facets of the play and took a lead of twenty five points at half time, comfortably closing out the game with an assured second half performance against the wind to beat “Hills” by three goals, two tries and two penalty goals to a consolation goal.
“Hills” had little to show from their endeavours, apart from typical bursts from Haddon McPherson at scrum half who also in the first period of play did his best to disrupt Kelso possession at the base of the scrum. The visitors’ attempts to punch ball up the middle through their main ball carriers, Joe Stafford and Nick McAuley, frequently came to grief due to effective Kelso defence and the point of attack taking place too far from supporting players. Any attempt at parity on the touch line was lost when second rower, Jonny Agnew, had to leave the field with a head knock; thereafter the “Hills” line out lacked any security on its throw. Certainly, Kelso stand-off, Mark Chester, gave a master class at stand-off in how to harness the windy conditions to play the game in the “Hills” half to keep the visitors under pressure.
Even with the wind in their favour in the second half, the “Hills” could make little of the advantage with minimal useable ball coming from first phase possession with the Kelso scrum being very competitive throughout. What scraps of second phase ball the “Hills” won were not used effectively, and the visitors struggled to play much rugby in the Kelso danger areas. “Hills” try came from an opportunist pick and go from sub. Ally Wright, who benefitted from some disarray in the home defence, as they were contesting a penalty award. Harry Boyd kicked the conversion, and, although “Hills” battled away gamely till the end, this appearance at Poynder Park will not be one which any of the visiting players or supporters will wish to recall. All credit to Kelso for a fine display of rugby on a day when they displayed more hunger than the “Hills” and better execution of all round skills.
“Hills” next game is at Hughenden on Saturday the 5th March with a 15.00 hours kick-off vs Selkirk, who are currently top of the Premier “C” league.
Hills” 1st XV – Stuart Howie, Daniel Ozugo, Chris Butler ( Ally Wright ) , Will Marshall , Andy Leslie ( Chris Butler ) , Harry Boyd , Haddon McPherson ( David Mitchell ) , Will Goulden, Joe Stafford ( C ) ( Corey Buchan ) , Nick McAuley ( Joe Stafford ) , Douglas Wood , Jonny Agnew ( Donald Pitkethly ) , Douglas Grove, Donald Pitkethly ( David Mitchell ) and Douglas Crichton ( Mati Bottarini ) . Subs All used