National One round-up: Biggar close in on title – while Dundee won’t leave quietly

A late flurry of tries secured a comfortable home win for Kelso over Watsonians, which eases their relegation fears

Kelso secured an important win over Watsonians. Image: Gavin Horsburgh
Kelso secured an important win over Watsonians. Image: Gavin Horsburgh

KELSO scored 19 points in the last 10 minutes to make sure of a bonus point victory over Watsonians on Saturday and give themselves a massive boost in their bid to stay up in National League One next season. Meanwhile, at the other end of the table, Biggar now have one hand on the title after they saw off nearest rivals Heriot’s Blues.

At Poynder Park, Watsonians went ahead through an unconverted try by Stuart Allison, but then they lost Guy Kelly to the sin bin and Kelso scored a try through Dwain Patterson. The home side then went 12-5 ahead when Alex Thompson scored a try, which was converted by Craig DodsFrankie Robson then bagged try number three, but a converted effort by Kresimir Coric for Watsonians made it 19-12 at half-time.

WhenWes Hirst was yellow carded for Kelso and the Watsonians scored five points through Coric, the game was back in the balance, but Kelso hit another gear in the last 10 minutes. Robson scored the fourth bonus-point try while Andrew Thomson and Dods also crossed – with the latter also kicking two conversions – to make it 38-17 at the conclusion.

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Kelso skipper Murray Hastie said:  “Another great win for us at Poynder Park, we played some great attacking rugby in windy conditions. To score six tries at home is very pleasing. We defended well in the second half and then managed to get down to their 22 and get the bonus point. We now look forward to the game this coming weekend [away at Boroughmuir] and we want to finish off the season on a real high.”

The groundstaff did a great job to get Hartreemill playable and both teams gave it everything in poor conditions – with snow blowing across the pitch at times – as Biggar saw off second placed Heriot’s. The leaders are now 19 points clear at the top and know that two points or more from their match against Stirling Wolves this coming Saturday would see them crowned champions. They also have two further games to play after that.

Luhan Kutze scored an early try for Biggar, converted by Andy Jardine, to make it was 7-0 at the break. Heriot’s scored an unconverted try through Nick Sutherland in the 63rd minute before Richard Bassett grabbed the winner for Biggar four minutes later, with Jardine adding the extras to see them home 14-5.

“It was a case of getting the job done and getting back into the heat of the clubhouse,” said Biggar player/forwards coach Craig Borthwick. “The conditions were horrendous, but it’s one step closer to our final goal for the season. The conditions limited the actual amount of rugby played, but a massive amount of heart was shown to grind out the win and get what we were after.”

Dundee High may already be relegated, but they battled hard to secure just a third win of the league season, with a 26-27 scoreline at Lochinch against Cartha Queens Park. Sam Cardosi (2), Josh Mark and Fraser Black scored the winning team’s tries, while Fraser Mackay added seven points with the boot.

Eighth placed Cartha took two bonus points from the defeat, with Juan Phyfer, Isaac Mitchell, Wayne Burrows and Alex Geddes scoring tries and Burrows converting three of them.

The Boroughmuir versus Gala, Ayr versus Highland and Stirling Wolves versus Melrose matches were all postponed.

National League Division One results –

Kelso 38 Watsonians 17

Biggar 14 Heriot’s Blues 5

Cartha Queens Park 26 Dundee High 27

How it stands –

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About Gary Heatly 405 Articles
Gary has loved rugby ever since he can remember and since 2004 he has covered the sport and others in a professional capacity for many publications and websites and runs his own company, GH Media.