1st XV vs Kelso: Match Report
He would, therefore, have heartily approved of the opening half hour in our clash with Kelso. Morrison crashed over, followed by Morgan, both efforts converted by McCashin to give Stewart’s Melville an early advantage.
Kelso were also reduced to 14 men in this period, with Rowlandson awarded a yellow card. McCashin had the opportunity to add a penalty but kicked to the corner, thinking Kelso were short-handed. Rowlandson returned for that line out, though, and Kelso were able to clear their lines.
In a half that mirrored the opening period in the first fixture, where Kelso were dominant and Stewart’s Melville narrowed the gap just before half time (eventually to win in the last minute), Kelso responded in the last minutes of the half with a try by Buckley – more about him later – that brought his team right back into the contest. Kelso, from being under the cosh, were only nine points adrift.
Worse was to follow from a home perspective, as, on the resumption, Max Gordon stormed through the defence after initial prompting from Kelso’s combative number 9, Tait.
For the second week in succession the opposing kicker struggled with his range and Skeen missed a fairly straightforward penalty attempt that would have narrowed the gap to one point.
Nick McCashin then settled home jitters somewhat by finishing off good broken play by the home three-quarters, with Morrell and Hanning to the fore. The conversion stretched the lead to eleven points and events shortly after killed the game as a contest.
A melee occurred around the half way line that resulted in Tait and Morrison receiving yellow cards. Buckley waded into the action and took out Trotter. The referee deemed a red card an appropriate punishment.
Bowie increased the home advantage, but Kelso replied through Grieve – although Bowen was unlucky, as he dislodged the ball in the tackle in the lead up to Kelso’s score, only for the ball to present itself for Grieve to score in the corner.
With 15 minutes left there was still time for Mike Hanning to score a hat trick, his first coming after he found space outside the home ‘22’ and roared home and his third – the icing on the cake – in the last minute. Skeen, trying for a four-try bonus, chipped the advancing defence, only for Hanning to collect on the half volley. Mike repeated the chip over the Kelso backline and won the race to touch down. Nick McCashin’s only unsuccessful conversion attempt of the day proved to be the last kick of the game.
For the sake of completeness it should be noted that Bowie for Stewart’s Melville and Holburn for Kelso also received yellow cards during the course of the game
Playing at home was night and day from the pitch at Selkirk the previous week. Next week, as we travel to Biggar, we know that the reception and playing surface awaiting will be more akin to Philiphaugh than Inverleith.
‘O wad some Power the giftie gie us / To see oursels as ithers see us!’ Well, the Selkirk team bus, diverted on a fruitless journey to play Aberdeen, chose – amongst all the grounds in Edinburgh – to spend the afternoon at Inverleith.
Many thanks to Steve Rennie for the match photos. Kelso match report here.