Frustration as dominant Howe can’t secure the win

Connor Dow attacks the Kelso defence for the Howe of Fife.

Connor Dow attacks the Kelso defence for the Howe of Fife.

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Howe of Fife........................15

Kelso...................................15

At St Andrews Howe should have beaten league stragglers Kelso but in the end they could only manage a draw after having most of the play.

However, this was a day when the homesters made a plethora of mistakes which ruined any number of scoring opportunities.

The match was again played on the 4G pitch at St Andrews University, and Howe, playing towards the city, got off to a good start with a try in eight minutes.

It was an excellent individual effort from acting captain James Lawrie, who caught a kick upfield 10 yards inside his own half and out by the right touchline, and pinned his ears back to fly along the touchline.

He ended up in the right corner for a try which Angus Guthrie did not covert.

For the rest of the half it was mostly Howe but they could not move their score beyond five despite diligence from such as the three young Strathallan players.

Back row forwards Jack Bruce and Matthew Fagerson and left wing Mark New all impressed.

Kelso’s one attempt at a penalty was a miss by Phil Hume, their scrum half, while on the Howe side Guthrie had another miss on an afternoon of passed up opportunities.

Guthrie finally succeeded with a kick from inside the 25, 15 minutes into the second half after Kelso wing forward Nico Graaff had seen yellow from the ref.

Their stand off Andrew Skeen was there with a penalty of 35 yards, and then a kick to the corner resulted in Kelso driving over from a lineout, second row Tom Robson coming up with the ball.

Hume missed the conversion but five minutes later Kelso attacked the Howe line and left wing Arran Jackson left his wing to take a pass at outside centre and drive over from close range, for Skeen to convert.

Howe were 15-8 down, and seemingly about to lose a match which they had controlled for long periods.

However Fraser Clark kicked a long penalty to touch in the right corner and Howe won the ensuing lineout for the big fellow, Dylan Groat to score his maiden try.

Bafflingly, Guthrie goaled the conversion from far out on the touchline.

In the closing minutes Howe had another chance but another burst of wrong-headedness resulted in them blowing it, and the game finished at 15-15.