Kelso 42 Hawick YM 21
By Red Skin
This was a game with nothing at stake as the Borders RBS Cup qualifier had already been decided last week. After a week of rain, snow and frozen pitches, the pitch was bound to be soft and so it proved. YM had several key players missing in the form of Ryan Hogg and young Ross Graham who were both suffering injuries from the physical encounter against Hawick last weekend. Wullie Blacklock was unavailable and Adam "the fridge" Williamson was promoted to the greens. Skins also welcomed Liam Lawrence and former skins try scoring machine Neil "Plug" McColm back on loan from Hawick.
Kelso have had a mixed bag of a season having suffered a thumping against the greens a fortnight ago and drawing against their struggling rivals Jed last week. It had the look of a promising Friday night match.
The game was very fast flowing and before there was 5 mins on the clock strong running centre Richard Minto scored under the posts following some poor tackling from the YM defence. 5 minutes later he followed this up with a similar try after running a great supporting line which was difficult to defend.
Gregor Welsh then added 3 points to break the YM's duck. From here there was some one way traffic in terms of how young referee, Sam Grove-White was penalising the YM for some unusual unseen offences. This lead to some sustained pressure on the YM line and ended in the referee awarding a penalty try after 2 resets scrums that seemed to be collapsed on the Kelso side. The frustration was now very evident amongst the YM players and the chatting back to the referee wasn't helping their cause.
The skins had a great 10 minute half way through the first half with some fantastic broken play running from Mikey Graham and Plug. Bruce Campbell was having some telling snipes from rucks and had the better of his opposite man. This finally led to Gregor Welsh banging another 3 points over. Following this Zoomba was penalised and yellow carded for not rolling away from a tackle. This was met with much disgust from the touchline. This led to the scrums being uncontested for the 10 minutes of the sin bin. During this time Kelso scored a further try and Gregor added another 3 from a well earned penalty.
5 minutes from half time Graham Kellington show some great power to break the Kelso line and offload to Jason Hendrie who dived under the sticks for a fantastic try. Gregor added the extras. Minutes before half time the skins had another fine piece of handling between the backs and forwards. Whilst Rummel took the ball forward he was struck in the face by a cowardly punch from the Kelso prop. Zoomba rightly took exception to this and waded in. He and the Kelso prop were both yellow carded, as this was zoomba's second yellow it meant that he also recieved a red right on the stroke of half time.
Half Time 27-16
It was going to be a very difficult final 40 for the skins as they would be playing the entie second half with 14 players.
As Zoomba was off it was agreed that the remainder of the match would have to be uncontested scrums. Unusually this would benefit the YM who's pack was under strength.
Right from the kick off Kelso scored a try through Adam Alexander. The YM responded once again and after a well worked line out Dean McCracken made a fine break and offloaded shipped the ball along the line and Michael Grahm slid in for a great try in the corner.
This seemed to spur the Redskins on further and there was some good pick and go's from the base of the rucks which made some good yards forward. Once again though some good angles from Kelso were cutting through the skins defence a little to easily. Fitness was beginning to tell and the Kelso packs tails were up. And following a drive from the lineout the pressure told and Kelso were awarded a kickable penalty and Ponton duly obliged.
The boys were no looking tired but to their credit never threw in the towel and some great hits were being put in by Douglas Cowan and Lilly. The last quarter of the match was well contested. Ym pressed the Kelso line and after a good drive from a lineout the balls was spilled and Minto sprinted 70 meters to complete his hatrick.
This seemed to give the skins a second wind as the final 10 minutes was all them. The lineout was functioning superbly and following a penalty McCracken found touch 10 meters out. A fine throw from Douglas to Mabon at the tail was driven right up to the line where Kelso were penalised for collapsing the maul. From the lineout Campbell was held up over the line. To Kelso's credit the showed some solid defence and the YM were unable to get over the line before the final whistle sounded.
Although well beaten the boys showed some excellent character to keep the score down with only 14 men for 50 minutes of the match. Hopefully this assist us going into next weeks match at home against high flying Peebles. This match will make or break our season. As victory blows the race open and defeat will almost certainly kill off any promotion hopes.
Welsh, McColm, Graham, Hendrie, Lawrence, McCracken, Campbell
Lilly, Douglas, Turnbull, Mabon, Thomson, Kellington, Robson, Cowan
Subs: Taylor, Potts, Hill
Blood, sweat and jeers at historic clash
Hawick YM 15 - 16 Jed, report
The home side started the second half with the same attitude as the visitors in the first half taking the lead with a converted try after just 5 minutes, Jed then regained some composure when Ewan Scott converted another penalty 10 minutes into 2nd half. Both sides endeavoured to play rugby but the game was spoiled by penalties when both teams began to tire. The home team were next on the score sheet when they converted a penalty to take the lead once more on the 20th minute of the second half, again the game moved from one end of the park to the other, Jed's younger pack taking the ball to the opposition at every opportunity. It was not until the final minute of the second half that Scott managed to convert a penalty to seal the game for Jed. Final score hawk YM 15 Jed-Forest 16.
This was a difficult game for Jed with as many call offs but all credit to the players that came into the side, James Rowley returned to the team after a length absence and played a good game as did Nicky Bates when he came on to help put the brakes on the Jed scrum. Thanks to David Grieveand Neil Cook who came out their sick beds to help the team. We have another week off next Saturday so hopefully our players should recover from the flu bug going around and should be up for the Hawks game a week later, our ladies day lunch is before the game so hopefully our boys can turn it on for the ladies.
Hawick YM 14, Selkirk 21
LEFT Selkirk flanker Neil Darling gets to grips with a Redskins player, while team-mates Angus Duckett, Darren Clapperton and Ryan Crockatt are ready to lend support. RIGHT Full-back Fraser Harkness heads for the try line to put Selkirk 12-0 up in Saturdays cup match after eight minutes. [Photos: Grant Kinghorn]