Selkirk 33 Kelso 14 (Sat. Dec. 8th)
CONDITIONS at Philiphaugh on Saturday may have appeared blizzard-like but their was plenty heat on the pitch.
Within four minutes the Souters had the crowd warmed up when Lee Jones scorched in from a Fraser Harkness break and David Cassidy converted.
Shortly afterwards Selkirk were awarded a penalty and despite shouts from supporters to take the kick opted for a line out. A decision which paid dividends with the forwards throwing their weight behind prop Martin Murray who was driven over the line. Cassidy missed the conversion and a penalty minutes later but on 20 minutes the Selkirk centre made amends with a cracking long range penalty.
A bout of off the ball fisticuffs resulted in referee Robert McKinnon having a chat with both captains but all the players remained on the field and play raged on with Kelso intruding into home territory for the first time in the game.
The Tweedsiders continued to pressurize and following a scrum five metres out the ball was shipped out to Mika-ell Hartley who dinked the ball over the heads of the onrushing defenders for Sean Common to touch down. Kevin Utterson slotted the conversion to give Kelso full points.
Selkirk pulled away just minutes later however when David Cassidy slotted his second penalty of the afternoon.
With the half way stage approaching Selkirk suffered a blow when Harkness was sin-binned for not rolling away. Utterson missed the conversion but more drama was to come as a second scuffle kicked off and Kelso scrum half Colin Stevenson was yellow carded along with try-scorer Murray for the hosts. Half-time score: Selkirk 18 Kelso 7.
With only 13 players on the pitch after the re-start Selkirk still managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over with David Cassidy notching up another three points.
All things equal again Selkirk set out camp in the Kelso half and another push saw captain Neil Darling barge his way over for Cassidy to make the conversion.
Once again tempers flared as Kelso found it increasingly more difficult to breach the home defences and for the second time in the game a double dose of yellow cards was dished out. This time it was Kelso skipper Ian Wallace and homester Eddie Gauche who felt the wrath of the East Kilbride whistler and were sent to cool their heels for 10 minutes.
And, once again, it was Selkirk who coped better with the reduction in numbers, pinning their opposition back into their own 22. A quick line out in the corner saw Scott Hendrie nip in for the bonus point try and Selkirk looked to be home, if not exactly dry, with 10 minutes remaining.
Kelso refused to lie down though and play switched to the cricket ground end for a spell with Daniel Porteous going over for a consolation try and Utterson providing the extras with the final kick of the day.