Players were piped on to the pitch for the match against Kelso  A
Players were piped on to the pitch for the match against Kelso A

Duns 36 
Kelso ‘A’ 12

As part of the official opening of the club, Duns played local rivals Kelso A on a perfect pitch with a breeze blowing across toward the football ground – the home side had a squad of 26 and they were each accompanied on to the field by a player from the mini section.

Kalen Martin and Jack Rayen jousting at Castle Park

Kalen Martin and Jack Rayen jousting at Castle Park

The youths had displayed their skills in a match earlier in the day. The match was officiated by referee Graham Hastie and, unusual at this level, two assistant referees with miked up communication. The assistants were no strangers to the club in Grant Denholm and Iain Grant.

The game kicked off slightly late to allow the pipe band to finish their set. The first score was by the home side when Andrew Baxter crossed wide left, Dale Robertson missed the conversion.

Both teams were showing great commitment with some big collisions. Defences held firm including a brilliant try saving tackle by Stuart Thomson which meant no further scoring until five minutes before the break.

Ryan Burns went for an interception to halt a Kelso attack, the ball however, found the Kelso winger and he crossed the line untouched wide out, the conversion failed and the score remained at 5-5 until half-time.

The second period started with several Duns changes and they were rewarded with an early try by Michael Thomson, Dale Robertson successful with the conversion from near the touchline.

Kelso came back to level again with their own converted try won by their powerful forwards. With similarities with Duns first warm-up game two weeks previously, from a 12-12 scoreline, the men in red and black found some form and scored some excellent tries without reply.

John Walker was unlucky to be hauled down inches short, but having just been introduced into the fray Chris Williamson added a further try to his impressive tally, again Dale Robertson added the extras. Robert Grigg also came off the subs’ bench to grab a try with a powerful run, Robertson missed the conversion.

Cammy Hill was the next unfortunate player stopped short, but from the resultant ruck, debutant Ryan Mania dotted down, referee Hastie was unsighted but Iain Grant could confirm the score which was unconverted.

The final score was wide right when Danny Lamb found space and put Ryan Burns in for the try, Robertson regained his kicking form to bring the final score Duns 36-Kelso A 12.

Duns: Douglas Turnbull, Nathan Melrose, Chris Brown, Scott Turnbull, Josh Herbert, John Walker, Michael Thomson and Zander Bruce, Danny Lamb, Ged Lamb, Ryan Burns, Dale Robertson, Ewan Fleming, Andrew Baxter and Stuart Thomson.

Subs: Cammy Hill, Stephen Markby, Alex Orr, Robert Grigg, Richard Hume, Declan Renton, Allen Whellans, Chris Williamson, Jamie Renton, Andrew Sanderson and Ryan Mania.