Match Reports by Iain Houston
Gala V Melrose Saturday 23 November 2019, Tennent’s National League 1
This Tennent’s National 1 match was played on a dull, cold and wet afternoon, under floodlights, with the distant Eildons shrouded in mist. After four minutes, and on their first visit to the Melrose half, Gala capitalised with Euan Dods squirming over for a try converted by Dean Keddie. At 16 minutes, from a ruck in the left corner, James Brown dived over for a try with Donald Crawford’s conversion from the touchline levelling the score. With 21 minutes played Thomas Brown, for an unseen offence, was yellow carded and as a result Keddie kicked a penalty. Dods scored his second try at 30 minutes, in similar fashion to his first, with Keddie adding the extras. The half ended with Gregor Lindsay, at 32 minutes, being sin-binned for a no arms tackle and Liam Scott, at 38 minutes, being binned for collapsing an attacking maul.
Half time – Gala 17 Melrose 7
Five minutes into the second half Jack Easson earned himself a yellow card for collapsing a maul. With ten minutes remaining a well-placed cross kick by Gala was retrieved by Andrew Mitchell who crossed for a try converted by Keddie. An assault on two players by an opponent, seen by the whole stand, was not seen by the referee and the assailant went unpunished. Such behaviour is not acceptable in the modern game.
Gala 24 Melrose 7
Gala – Ruairi Howarth, Fergus Johnson, Andrew Mitchell, Daniel Nicholson, John Turnbull, Dean Keddie, Lachlan Johnston, Kyle Scott, Jack Easson, Martin Christie, Robbie Irvine, John Watson, Josh Irvine, Liam Scott, Euan Dods. Replacements – Andrew Brown, Richie Tod, Jack Chambers, Angus Dun, Ben Gill.
Melrose – Keiran Clark, Ethan McVicker, Gary McWilliam, Christiaan Smit, James Brown, Donald Crawford, Douglas Crawford, John Cox, Richard Ferguson, Jack Dobie, Thomas Brown, Gregor Lindsay, Ben McLean, Callum Folan, Trystan Andrews. Replacements – Jake Fairley, Craig Fairbairn, Sean Fisher, Elliot Ruthven, David Colvine.
Referee – Tom French.
Melrose v Highland, Saturday 16 November 2019, Tennent’s National League 1
A drizzly wet afternoon welcomed the visitors, Highland RFC, to the Greenyards for the first time in 40 years for this Tennent’s National 1 clash. Donald Crawford opened the scoring with a penalty after two minutes, but, despite a lot of huffing and puffing from both teams, there was nothing, even a missed penalty, at 31 minutes, by Scott Fraser, to trouble the score-keeper almost until the interval. Within a minute of the break Tom Smith was sin-binned for a high tackle and from the resultant penalty Melrose kicked the ball to touch in the Polceman’s Corner. The rolling maul complete Donald Crawford chipped the ball through the Highland defence for Gary McWilliam to pick up and dive over at the posts for a try converted by Donald Crawford.
Half time – Melrose 10 Highland 0.
Donald Crawford was wide with a penalty within a minute of the second half starting, but with Melrose attacking, three minutes later, the ball was passed right, left, then right again across the pitch before Trystan Andrews crashed over to the left of the posts with Donald Crawford converting. At 49 minutes Melrose attacked down the stand side with a grand off-load from prop Jack Dobie allowing McWilliam his second touch-down, this time in St. Mary’s Corner, with Donald Crawford adding the extras. The Melrose bonus point try came five minutes later. James Brown broke out of defence within the Melrose 22 and scorched down the far side being caught just short of the line. From the resultant ruck Keiran Clark picked up and dived over in the Church Corner with Donald Crawford converting from the touch-line. From a defensive scrum 5, eight minutes later, Melrose were shoved off their own ball with Mike Gordon diving into the Town Corner for a try converted by Rupeni Rokoduguni. With six minutes remaining Callum Carson took a quick tap penalty 5m out passing to Smith whose try was as quickly drop kick converted by a player whose number was not visible and thus the scoring ended. To-day’s “Player of the Match” provided by “The Borders Distillery” was awarded jointly to Ben McLean and Ethan McVicker.
Melrose 31 Highland 14.
Melrose – Keiran Clark, Ethan McVicker, Gary McWilliam, Christiaan Smit, James Brown, Donald Crawford, Douglas Crawford, Jake Fairley, Richard Ferguson, Jack Dobie, Thomas Brown, Gregor Lindsay, Ben McLean, Grant Runciman, Trystan Andrews. Replacements – Sean Fisher, Ethan Deakin, Callum Folan, Elliot Ruthven, Lewis Mallin.
Highland – Iain Chisholm, Stephen Rutledge, Rupeni Rokoduguni, Seamus Ross, Mike Gordon, Scott Fraser, Hugo CRUSH, Stephen Murray, Kevin Brown, Lewis Sinclair, Sean Blair, Tom Smith, Callum Carson, Gordon Grigor, Oscar Baird. Replacements – Jonny Milton, Murdo Paterson, Liam Quinn, Ruaridh Macdonald, Connor Ross.
Referee – John Shaw.
Melrose v Catha Queens Park, Saturday 9 November 2019, Tennent’s National League 1
This Tennent's National 1 match, the first played at competitive 1st XV level between these two Clubs, was played on a dry and cold afternoon. Although Melrose dominated initially it was the hosts who took, and never relinquished, the lead, at 12 minutes, with Ryan Howie crossing for a try which Wayne Burrows converted. Graham Williamson increased the Cartha lead, at 19 minutes, with Burrows adding the extras. Five minutes later Sam Harrison strode down the wing to score a try in the corner leaving Burrows a difficult, but successful, conversion. The Cartha bonus point try came four minutes short of the interval courtesy of Liam Howieson with Burrows adding the extra two points.
Half time - Cartha QP 28 Melrose 0
Within two minutes of the restart Harrison was shown a yellow card. Melrose kicked to touch and from the resulting driving maul Richard Ferguson claimed an unconverted try. Despite being a man short Cartha continued to attack with Calum Dickson scoring a brace of tries at 49 & 52 minutes, the first being converted by Burows. Seven minutes later Melrose succumbed to a push over try with Lachie Stout claiming the touch down and Burrows the conversion. Two minutes short of no-side Ethan Paterson's game was ended with a yellow card, but this did not faze the hosts who proceeded to end the game with a Thiabauld Pin try and Burrows conversion.
Cartha Queens Park 54 Melrose 5
Cartha Queens Park - Thiabauld Pin, Liam Howieson, Thomas Pourcharet, Sam Harrison, Wayne Burrows, Bosco Lafon, Marcus Goodwin, Fraser Paul, Luca Alessandri, Graham Williamson, Michael Nellaney, Calum Dickson, Ryan Howie, Michael Robertson. Replacements - Juan Phyfer, Mark Barrowman, Ethan Paterson, Lachie Stout, Anthony Lopez.
Melrose - Keiran Clark, Lewis Mallin, David Colvine, Darren King, Ethan McVicker, Donald Crawford, Douglas Crawford, Jake Fairley, Richard Ferguson, Jack Dobie, Thomas Brown, Gregor Lindsay, Callum Wilde, Callum Folan, Grant Runciman. Replacements - Logan Kirk, Sean Fisher, Ethan Deakin, Gary McWilliam, Elliot Ruthven.
Referee - Michael Milne.
Melrose v Stirling Wolves, Saturday 2nd November 2019, Tennent’s National League 1
A beautiful late autumn afternoon was the setting for Melrose Rugby’s return to the Greenyards and the chance for spectators to take in 1st XV action on the new pitch, against guests Stirling Wolves.
It took just six minutes for the first points to be laid down, Lewis Mallin bursting the Stirling defence to feed Kieran Clarke, who raced in to the Town Corner, David Colvine converting. Colvine was in the action again soon after, but at the wrong end of the pitch as he was yellow carded. The Wolves took advantage of their extra man, and after a series of penalty scrums in the shadow of the Melrose posts, Number 8 David Montgomery peeled off and barged his way over for a converted try. Melrose then took it to the forwards and on 18 minutes, following a successful lineout from a penalty, Richard Ferguson broke off and touched down in much the same spot as Clarke had. Deputising with the boot, Donald Crawford nailed the tricky conversion facing directly into the low sun.
Just after the first quarter mark, Stirling blew a glorious chance to draw level, Craig Robertson intercepting a Crawford pass and racing clear. However, he elected to pass to James Gibson who had strayed ahead of him, chance gone. The visitors did gain their second try shortly after, when David Montgomery again forced his way over from a lineout in the St. Mary’s Corner. Johnny Hope missed the conversion leaving his side two points adrift. This reversal stung Melrose into immediate action and from the restart won the ball back for Ben McLean to rampage, almost unopposed, between the sticks, Colvine converting.
Half Time: Melrose 21, Stirling Wolves 12
The try bonus point came on the 53rd minute, a body of black and yellow shirts rolling over the line in the St. Mary’s Corner, a thumbs up from John Cox confirming the points were his. David Colvine’s conversion was a success, and he added to his tally soon after with a successful penalty attempt.
Come 4 o’clock, as the sun set, there was a new experience for the Greenyards spectators. Each player cast four shadows as the new set of floodlights took effect.
Stirling Wolves wrapped up the scoring for the day two minutes from the end. As the game broke up, lively scrum half Adam Shaw scampered over in the Town Corner, with Johnny Hope adding the extras. Stirling could have secured try bonus and losing bonus points right at the death, but as they crossed the line in the Policeman’s corner, the ball was lost forward and referee Ruaridh Campbell blew for no side.
Full Time; Melrose 31, Stirling Wolves 19
Melrose Rugby: Kieran Clarke, Lewis Mallan, David Colvine, Darren King, James Brown, Donald Crawford, Douglas Crawford; John Cox, Richard Ferguson (c), Will Owen, Thomas Brown, Gregor Lindsey, Ben McLean, Callum Folan, Grant Runciman.
Replacements: Jake Fairley, Sean Fisher, Jack Dobie, Ethan McVicker, Christiaan Smit
Stirling Wolves: Johnny Hope, Charlie Dineen, Mikey Heron, James Gibson, Brandon Mills, Craig Robertson, Adam Shaw; Fraser Muir, Andrew Orr, Gary Holborn, Stefan Yarrow, Calum MacPherson, Callum Cruickshank, Nik Binning, David Montgomery.
Replacements: Ben Mace, George Breese, Andrew Rutherford, Robbie Wales, Jamie Cruickshank
Referee: Ruaridh Campbell
Biggar Vs Melrose| Saturday 19 October | Round 7 Tennent's National League Division 1
Although there was no overhead rain during this week’s Tennent’s National 1 match the heavier, more mature and more street-wise Biggar team certainly rained on the Melrose parade. With only two minutes of the match played Thomas Brown was sin-binned for collapsing a maul just short of the try line. Biggar opted for an attacking scrum 5 which they won with Ross Jackson claiming the unconverted push-over try in the left corner. Four minutes later Andrew Jardine converted Biggar pressure into another unconverted try, and a further four minutes on he intercepted a Melrose pass on halfway and raced half the length of the pitch to score and convert a try. The Biggar bonus point try came on 28 minutes after a rolling maul progressed from the Melrose 22 to the try line where the ball was held up over the line. From the resultant attacking scrum 5 Rowan Stewart nipped in the blind-side running to the posts to leave Jardine with a less testing conversion. Four minutes from the interval, and following the third penalty in short order in the left corner, Douglas Crawford came around the blind-side of the maul to score a try converted by his brother Donald. The half ended with Rory Hutton being sin-binned.
Half time – Biggar 24 Melrose 7
Fourteen minutes into the second half a Biggar rolling maul was converted into a try to which Jardine added the extras. At the kick off Hutton latched onto the ball and raced down the left side off-loading to Stewart who scored an unconverted try in the left corner. Six minutes later Biggar scored another push-over try from a scrum 5 and, this time, Conor Lavery converted. From the kick off Biggar put in a fine handling move down the pitch with Robbie Orr scoring an unconverted try a feat which he repeated three minutes later, but with Lavery converting this one. With five minutes remaining Melrose won a penalty lineout in the left corner and, with the Biggar defence anticipating that Melrose would pass to the right in-field, Connor Spence ran left receiving Douglas Crawford’s short pass to dive into the blind-side corner for an unconverted try. Not the best day at the office!
Biggar 55 Melrose 12
Biggar – Robbie Orr, Ross Bradford, Rory Hutton, Andrew Jardine, Rowan Stewart, Conor Lavery, Luhann Kotze, Donald Voas, Chris Mulligan, Richard Bassett, Craig Borthwick, Jamie Campbell, Jamie Orr, Lewis Stewart, Ross Jackson. Replacements – Ewan Stewart, Paul Davidson, Andrew Peacock, Robbie Lavery, Mark Bertram.
Melrose – Gary McWilliam, Lewis Mallin, Darren King, Connor Spence, James Brown, Donald Crawford, Douglas Crawford, Jake Fairley, Richard Ferguson, Sean Fisher, Thomas Brown, Gregor Lindsay, Ben McLean, Ethan Deakin, Grant Runciman. Replacements – Logan Kirk, Connor Russell, Callum Folan, Ross Lile, Keiran Clark.
Referee – Samuel O’Neil (Gosforth RFC)
Touch judges – George Forrest (Biggar) & Ian Cooper (Melrose)
Dundee Vs Melrose| Saturday 12 October | Mayfield | Round 6 Tennent's National League Division 1
Sunshine welcomed Melrose north of the Tay for a Tennent’s National 1 match with Dundee HIGH Rugby. Nine minutes into the match Lewis Mallin crossed the whitewash for a try converted by Donald Crawford, and three minutes later Dundee opened their account with a penalty kicked by Paul Kerr. Then, on 13 minutes, Donald Crawford received the first of a plethora of yellow cards for a high tackle. His younger brother, Douglas, then thwarted a Dundee attack by intercepting within the Melrose 22 and sprinting the length of the pitch. Although caught just short of the line he was able to score and then convert a try. Dundee rallied and, on 22 minutes, Sean Gould crossed for an unconverted try. Next for the bin was Thomas Brown, on 30 minutes, also for a high tackle, followed, nine minutes later, by Richard Fergusson who, on trying to clear a body lying on top of a ruck, was accused of a “no arms” tackle.
Half time – Dundee High Rugby 8 Melrose 14.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, following excellent lead up work by Ethan Deakin, Craig Fairbairn crossed for an unconverted try. On 66 minutes, Mallin, whilst trying to intercept a pass, was binned for a deliberate knock-on and, within a minute, Craig Shearer scored a try which Duncan McIntyre converted for Dundee. The unconverted Melrose bonus point try was scored by Fairbairn at 72 minutes and, within a minute Stuart Kirk received the Dundee yellow card for repeated offences on the ground. James Brown completed the scoring with an unconverted try just before no-side.
Dundee High Rugby 15 Melrose 29
Melrose – Hamish Weir, Lewis Mallin, Gary McWilliam, Darren King, James Brown, Donald Crawford, Douglas Crawford, Sean Fisher, Richard Ferguson, Will Owen, Thomas Brown, Gregor Lindsay, Ben McLean, Grant Runciman, Craig Fairbairn. Replacements – Logan Kirk, Ethan Deakin, Connor Russell, Ross Lile, Robin Sharp.
Referee – Tom French
Melrose Vs Ayr| Saturday 5 October | Annay Road | Round 5 Tennent's National League Division 1
Constant drizzle and a cool temperature welcomed Ayr to the third Tennent’s National League 1 match played on the Annay Road pitch. Donald Crawford opened the scoring with a penalty at two minutes and Jamie Bova replied in kind eight minutes later to level the scores. On the quarter hour Bova evaded a Melrose tackle in his own 22 on the left and took off racing diagonally down the pitch before off-loading to Harry Lynch who scored an unconverted try in the right corner, then, on 22 minutes, with Melrose attacking the Ayr line, Bova was sin-binned for nefarious practice in the “red zone”. Melrose, however, failed to take advantage of their numerical superiority.
Half time – Melrose 3 Ayr 8.
Within four minutes of the start of the second half, and after a series of plays, Will Owen crashed in to the left of the posts for a try converted by Donald Crawford. Five minutes later Melrose won a scrum 5 on the right and, using the blind side, Lewis Mallin nipped in for an unconverted try. At 62 minutes Ayr pressed passing the ball backwards and forwards across the pitch before Bova breached the Melrose defence to score a try and his conversion levelled the scores again. With no-side approaching rapidly Melrose put in a series of picks and drives with Owen scoring his second, but unconverted, try to give Melrose the victory. To-day’s Melrose “Man of the Match” was second row forward Thomas Brown.
Melrose 20 Ayr 15
Melrose – Dougie Dodds, Lewis Mallin, Gary McWilliam, Darren King, Ross Lile, Donald Crawford, Douglas Crawford, Sean Fisher, Richard Ferguson, Will Owen, Thomas Brown, Craig Fairbairn, Chris Raymond, Callum Wilde, Ben McLean. Replacements – Ethan Deakin, John Cox, Gregor Lindsay, Callum Folan, Hamish Weir.
Ayr – Johnny McCorkindale, James Baird, Harry Lynch, Jamie Bova, Zac Howard, Andy Morrrison, Cammy Black, Scott Clelland, David Young, Craig Miller, Euan Hamilton, Seth Rae, Kerr Borland, Gregor Henry, Morgan Leatherbarrow. Replacements – Gregor Lynch, Jack Brown, Zander Howie, Ross McCorkindale, Matt Donaldson.
Referee – Michael Todd. Touch Judges – Ian Cooper (Melrose) & Bill Wyburn (Ayr)
Boroughmuir Vs Melrose | Saturday 28 September | Meggetland | Round 4 Tennent's National League Division 1
Another beautiful day for rugby, but with a slippery pitch following recent rains. Despite constant early pressure it took Melrose 20 minutes before they could cross the whitewash. Chris Raymond, from halfway, strode majestically towards the line before, just short, off-loading to Douglas Crawford who dived over between the posts. David Colvine converted immediately before leaving the fray with a shoulder injury. The next score came at 35 minutes. Robin Weersma’s attempted penalty kick hit the wrong side of the right-hand upright bouncing away from Melrose hands and was grounded in-goal by Gavin Welsh who had followed up fast. Weersma’s kick, again, failed to reach the target.
Half time – Boroughmuir 5 Melrose 7
At 54 minutes Weersma missed another penalty and, two minutes later, Donald Crawford chipped ahead on the Boroughmuir 10m line, retrieved the ball and, after progressing up-field, off-loaded right to Lewis Mallin who raced into the right corner for an unconverted try. With a mixture of balls lost forwards and stuffy defence there was no further scoring until 77 minutes when Donald Crawford kicked a penalty to give Melrose the ten-point lead.
Boroughmuir 5 Melrose 15
Boroughmuir – Ben Renton, Gavin Welsh, Grant Inness, Jack Hamilton, Finlay Devine, Robin Weersma, George McLean, Chris Anderson, Lewis Robinson, Scott Habib, Arran Wilson, John Troxler, Gavin Inkster, Dan Coulter, Matt Walker. Replacements – Tom Gracie, Stuart Ferguson, Derry McConnell, Ronan Kerr, Calum Anderson.
Melrose – David Colvine, Lewis Mallin, Gary McWilliam, Darren King, James Brown, Donald Crawford, Douglas Crawford, Sean Fisher, Ben McLean, Will Owen, Thomas Brown, Callum Wilde, Chris Raymond, Grant Runciman, Trystan Andrews. Replacements – Richard Ferguson, Archie Bogle, Gregor Lindsay, Craig Fairbairn, Jack Mundell.
Referee – Ruaridh Campbell. Touch Judges – Pete Millican (Boroughmuir) & Ian Cooper (Melrose)
Melrose Vs Watsonians | Saturday 21 September | Annay Road | Round 3 Tennent's National League Division 1
What a beautiful afternoon for a fast-flowing game of rugby, so warm, in fact, that several players opined that the prospect of summer rugby might not be all it is being cracked up to be. David Colvine, the Melrose “Man of the Match”, opened the scoring with a penalty after one minute. Stung into retribution Watsonians collected a loose ball on the right, at 5 minutes, and passing left Matt McPhillips received the ball and dived into the left corner for a try converted by Kerr Stoddart. Colvine kicked his second penalty at eight minutes before kicking a conversion seven minutes later after Richard Ferguson completed a penalty lineout rolling maul in the right corner.
Stoddart’s kick at goal, at eighteen minutes, rebounded off the upright, but Colvine was more successful, at 27 minutes, after Craig Willis was shown a yellow card for persistent team offences. Stoddart added to his tally with a penalty three minutes later, then, three minutes short of the break, Colvine fielded a Watsonian kick ahead within his own 22 and made excellent progress up-field before off-loading to Gary McWilliam who crossed to the left of the posts for an unconverted try. The half ended with a monster penalty kick by Stoddart from his own side of the halfway line.
Half time – Melrose 21 Watsonians 13.
Within a minute of the second half starting Harry Fisher followed up a kick ahead and scored a try in the left corner. Stoddart converted, was wide with a penalty five minutes later, but Colvine kicked his fourth penalty at 49 minutes. On 52 minutes Watsonians won a penalty lineout and from the rolling maul Wullie Thomson scored a try with Stoddart’s conversion giving Watsonians a three-point lead. Melrose retrieved the lead five minutes later, the ball being passed backwards and forwards across the pitch before Chris Raymond took the direct route for a try in the right corner, Colvine converting courtesy of the upright. The Melrose bonus point try came two minutes later, Melrose inter-passing up the pitch with a breenge by Callum Crookshank before he passed to Trystan Andrews who finished the move with a try between the posts and Colvine added the extras. A further two minutes later James Brown received the ball and, needing no second invitation, raced into the right corner for a try converted by Colvine.
With five minutes remaining Melrose stole the ball on the Watsonians 22 and progressed rapidly up the pitch with the final pass going to Donald Crawford whose try was converted by Colvine. This was an excellent game of rugby with due credit to Watsonians who never gave up and ill do serious damage to other teams throughout the season.
Melrose 50 Watsonians 27
Melrose – David Colvine, Lewis Mallin, Gary McWilliam, Gavin Wood, James Brown, Donald Crawford, Douglas Crawford, Sean Fisher, Richard Ferguson, Callum Crookshank, Thomas Brown, Callum Wilde, Chris Raymond, Harri Morris, Trystan Andrews. Replacements – Ben McLean, Will Owen, Gregor Lindsay, Ethan McVicar, Darren King.
Watsonians – Kerr Stoddart, Jack Ferguson, Matt McPhillips, Thomas Klein, Donald Kennedy, Chris Bell, Wullie Thomson, Johnny Gibson, Kresimic Coric, Nathan Borel, Tom Richardson, Guy Kelly, Craig Willis, Connor Pearce, Harry Fisher. Replacements – Oliver Hinks, Ciaran Kinnear, Jack Currie, Lucca Russo, Archie Spencer.
Referee – Ross Mabon. Touch Judges – Malcolm Changleng & Archie Spencer
Heriots Vs Melrose | Saturday 14 September | Goldenacre | Round 2 Tennent's National League Division 1
The second round of this year’s Tennent’s National League 1 was played on a fair and pleasant afternoon with a breeze blowing the length of the Goldenacre pitch. Playing with the wind and the sun Melrose opened the scoring, after a spell of pressure, with a David Colvine penalty from in front of the posts at 10 minutes. Eight minutes later Heriots made a fine break down the far side and, courtesy of some weak Melrose tackling, Oisin Quinn raced in for a try converted by Graham Wilson. Nine minutes short of the interval Heriots put in a series of picks and drives ending with Callum Bell diving into the left corner for an unconverted try. Then, just on the break, James Brown fielded a Heriots kick ahead on his own 22 bamboozling the Heriots chasers and defenders to run the rest of the length of the pitch to score a try to the left of the posts with Colvine’s conversion ending the half.
Half time – Heriots Blues 12 Melrose 17
Eleven minutes into the second half Melrose took a free kick, quickly, on the Heriots 10m line and spread play left for Gavin Wood to cross in the left corner leaving Colvine a difficult, but successful, conversion. Half way through the half Melrose guddled defence in the left corner allowing James Sloan to dive over for an unconverted try. Two minutes later Melrose surged to the posts and were only thwarted by a high tackle on the line which earned Finn Munro a yellow card. Many a referee would have given a penalty try, but only a penalty was awarded which Colvine duly kicked. Ten minutes from the end Heriots won a scrum 5 passing left to Craig Robertson who crashed into the left corner for the Heriots bonus point try well converted by Wilson from the touch line. The Melrose bonus point try came five minutes later when Lewis Mallin intercepted a floated Heriots pass, on the hosts 22, and danced his way past the Heriots defenders to score between the posts with Colvine’s conversion ending the scoring.
Heriots Blues 24 Melrose 34
Heriots Blues – Oisin Quinn, John Rae, Scott Robeson, Ollie Nisbet, Craig Robertson, Steven Simmers, Graham Wilson, John Lascelles, Burt Mustard, Ross Hutchison, Sean Johnstone, Callum Bell, Sholto Hunter, Max Oliver, Finn Munro. Replacements – Danny Dineen, James Sloan, Malcolm Nimmo, Innes Hill, Cammy Lineen.
Melrose – David Colvine, Lewis Mallin, Gary McWilliam, Gavin Wood, James Brown, Donald Crawford, Jack Mundell, Will Owen, Richard Ferguson, Callum Crookshank, Thomas Brown, Callum Wilde, Chris Raymond, Grant Runciman, Trystan Andrews. Replacements – Ben McLean, Sean Fisher, Gregor Lindsay, Craig Fairbairn, Douglas Crawford.
Referee – David Young. Touch judges – Michael Goldie & Ian Cooper
Melrose Vs Kelso | Saturday 7 September | Annay Road | Round 1 Tennent's National League Division 1
The start of the 2019/20 National League 1 campaign was played on the temporary venue at Annay Road whilst the Greenyards pitch is being converted to an artificial surface. To-day’s match, against Kelso, was played in glorious weather and on a firm surface. David Colvine started the scoring by kicking a penalty after two minutes then, five minutes later, James Brown scythed through the Kelso defence to score a try between the posts, with Colvine converting. On the quarter hour Craig Dods put Kelso on the scoresheet with a penalty. Trystan Andrews increased the Melrose lead, two minutes later, after a series of picks and drives scoring a try in the left corner with Colvine converting. Three minutes before the break Keiran Clark gathered the ball on the Melrose 10m line and tore through the Kelso defence to score between the posts leaving Colvine a straight-forward conversion. With the interval looming Kelso were awarded a penalty 5m from the Melrose line and after a series of picks and drives Arran Jackson dived in for an unconverted try.
Half time – Melrose 24 Kelso 8
Eleven minutes into the second half Melrose put in a rolling maul from a penalty lineout in the left corner. Ben McLean claimed the bonus point try which was well converted by Colvine from the touch-line. At 69 minutes, from a penalty lineout maul in the right corner, “Man of the Match” Callum Crookshank crashed over for a try which was converted by Clark. The final piece of action was the yellow card shown to McLean, six minutes from the end, for a high tackle.
Melrose 38 Kelso 8
Melrose – Keiran Clark, Lewis Mallin, David Colvine, Gavin Wood, James Brown, Donald Crawford, Douglas Crawford, Will Owen, Richard Ferguson, Callum Crookshank, Thomas Brown, Callum Wilde, Chris Raymond, Grant Runciman, Trystan Andrews. Replacements – Ben McLean, Mak Wilson, Harri Morris, Thomas Klein, Gary McWilliam.
Kelso – Arran Jackson, Robbie Tweedie, Frankie Robson, Craig Dods, Mark Wilson, Murray Hastie, Andy Tait, Blair Robertson, Ewan Knox, Andrew Ford, Alex Thompson, Derek Welsh, Archie Cowers, Kev Dryden, Cammy Brown. Replacements – Scott Hilton, Kevin Wilson, MORGAN Thompson, GREGOR Millar, Dwain Patterson.
Referee – George Pounder. Touch judges – Ian Cooper & John Fleming.
Hawick Vs Melrose | Saturday 31 August | Mansfield Park | Scottish Cup
The combatants for this Preliminary Round of this year's Scottish Cup were two teams who have won the Cop on previous occasions, but this year were starting at the bottom. The match was played on a dull and windy afternoon with a hint of drizzle. Melrose started off into the wind, but it took Hawick fifteen minutes to capitalize. They were awarded an attacking scrum 5, but failed gain with Melrose being awarded a defensive scrum 5. The heavier Hawick pack managed to disrupt the Melrose effort with Stuart Graham diving on a loose ball to score a try at the posts leaving Ali Weir a straightforward conversion. At 29 minutes Hawick overthrew a lineout ball on the far side halfway line. Lewis Mallin made great headway and Melrose thought that Chris Raymond has scored a try. However, there had been a communications failure between the referee and his assistants and play was brought back too the stand side halfway line as a Melrose player has taken out a Hawick player illegally at a ruck, but the penalty was reversed as the Hawick player had retaliated. There minutes later David Colvine put Melrose on the scoreboard with a penalty. Just on the interval Hawick won a penalty lineout on the far side 22 and sun the ball wide to the right. After a series of picks and drives Matt Carryer scored a try which Weir converted
Half time - Hawick 14 Melrose 3
Fourteen minutes into the second half Hawick put in a series of picks and drives eventually out-striping a stuffy Melrose defense with Shawn Muir ending the scoring with an unconverted try. With ten minutes remaining Graham was shown a yellow card for punching an opponent, but, unfortunately there Melrose youngsters were unable to capitalize on their numerical superiority.
Hawick 19 Melrose 3
Hawick - Ali Weir, Ronan McLean, Andrew Mitchell, Gary Johnstone, Logan Gordon-Wooley, Bailey Donaldson, Shawn Muir, Matt Carryer, Craig Bachurzewski, Keith McNeil, David Suddon, Stuart Graham, Billy McNeil, Bruce McNeil. Replacements - Callum Fenwick, Dale Johnstone, James Rowley, Murray Renwick, Mully Bannerman.
Melrose - Keiran Clark, Lewis Mallin, David Colvine, Thomas Klein, James Brown, Donald Crawford, Douglas Crawford, Will Owen, Richard Ferguson, Callum Crookshank, Thomas Brown, Chris Raymond, Grant Rincima , Trystan Andrews. Replacements - Ben McLean, Mak Wilson, Gregor Lindsay, Sean Fisher, Gavin Wood.
Referee - Keith Allan Assistants - Alex Obreja and Dave McKerval
Jed-Forest Vs Melrose | Saturday 24 August | Riverside Park | Booker Border League Fixture
A hot and sunny afternoon welcomed in the 2019/20 season at Riverside for a Bookers Border League encounter, but with a cohort of potential Super 6 players absent the Melrose team showed several less than familiar names. Despite this the youngsters performed extremely well and, had it not been for some lineout overthrows, the result could have been in Melrose’s favour. Five minutes into the game Jed won a lineout on halfway and broke down the far side ending with Gary Munro scoring a try and kicking the conversion between the posts, to which he added a penalty five minutes later. Within a couple of minutes Jed put in a fine handling move across the pitch letting Gregor Law skip into the right corner for an unconverted try. Was the writing on the wall? Certainly not if the Melrose boys had anything to do with it. With 19 minutes played Melrose put in a rolling maul from a lineout 5m out in the left corner. Illegal disruption by the Jed players gained Melrose a penalty try. Eight minutes short of the interval Donald Crawford side-stepped the Jed defence for a try between the posts with David Colvine adding the extras. With two minutes until the break Elliot Lauder irritated the referee and gained himself a yellow card. Unfortunately, Colvine’s kick was wide of the posts.
Half time – Jed-Forest 15 Melrose 14.
From the re-start kick-off Jed were awarded a penalty, but Munro’s kick failed to add any points. Five minutes later Melrose won a lineout in the right corner and, from the resulting maul, Chris Raymond claimed the unconverted try to give Melrose the lead for the first time. Colvine increased this lead with a penalty at 63 minutes. Three minutes later Lewis Young made considerable headway up the far side with the ball, eventually, coming off his foot over the line for him to touch down and allow Callum Young an excellent conversion from the right touchline to level the scores. With four minutes remaining, from an attacking scrum 5, Gregor Young nipped in for the winning try which Munro converted.
Jed-Forest 29 Melrose 22.
Jed-Forest – Lewis Young, Rory Marshall, Gregor Young, Monty Mitchell, Robbie Shirra-Gibb, Robbie Yourston, Gary Munro, Grant Paxton, Karl Lamont, Harry Meadows, Gary Young, Gregor Law, Daniel Wardrop, Jack Howe, Othello Heka. Replacements – Cole Lothian, Finlay Campbell, Adam Keeler, Elliot Lauder, Nik Stingl, Callum Young, Josh Laing.
Melrose – Kieran Clarke, Lewis Mallin, David Colvine, Gary McWilliam, James Brown, Donald Crawford, Finlay Broomfield, Mak Wilson, Ben McLean, Callum Crookshank, Thomas Brown, Gregor Lindsey, Chris Raymond, Harri Morris, Grant Runciman. Replacements – Richard Ferguson, Sean Fisher, Craig Fairbairn, Tristan Adams, Callum Wilde, Thomas Klein, Cameron Meager.
Referee – David Young. Assistants – Brian McGuff & Steven Dyer.
Hawick 7s | Saturday 10 August
First round - MELROSE 12 Tyndale 10
Quarter final - MELROSE 33 Hawick 14
Semi-final - Boroughmuir 21 MELROSE 28
Final - MELROSE10 Jed-Forest 17
MELROSE Squad - Gavin Wood, Lewis Mallin, Chris Raymond, Ethan McVicar, Thomas Klein, David Colvine, James Brown, Donald Crawford, Gary McWilliam, Cameron Meager.
Peebles 7s | Saturday 24 August
Edinburgh Accies 27 Heriots 5
MELROSE 28 Heriots 12
Edinburgh Accies 10 MELROSE 14
Jed-Forest 24 MELROSE 7
Jed-Forest 26 Hawick 7
MELROSE Squad - David Colvine, Gavin Wood, Lewis Mallin, Ethan McVicar, Douglas Crawford, Donald Crawford, James Brown, Chris Raymond, Thomas Klein, Matthew Klein, Jack Mundell, Finlay Broomfield.