Melrose and Dundee High provided a thrilling encounter on Saturday afternoon, an encounter in which the outcome was uncertain right up to the final whistle.
The conditions for a January match were perfect; clear, still and cold. Dundee were in control for the first quarter of an hour, yet all they had to show for their efforts was a solitary penalty from Kieran Scouler. The first try of the day came for Melrose, winger Aidan Cross on hand to support the jinking run of Kieran Clark. Clark handed him the ball on the try line in the Policeman’s Corner, David Colvine landing the tricky conversion. An enterprising chip and chase shortly after from Donald Crawford almost produced a second try, but he just couldn’t control the bounce. John Cox did however score the Greenyards men’s next points, benefitting from a rolling maul into the Town Corner. Colvine was desperately unlucky to convert, striking the post, and with two minutes remaining of the half, Scouler brought his team within six points as he added a second penalty.
Half time: Melrose 12-Dundee High Rugby 6
Shortly into the second half, Scouler halved the deficit with a third successful penalty. For the next half hour, the scoreboard remained untroubled, although there was still action aplenty as first Lewis McNamara on 55 minutes and then Sam Cardosi on 70, were yellow carded for taking out a lineout jumper and not releasing respectively. The Melrose lead was increased to 15-9 with a further penalty 10 minutes from time, but Dundee were not for giving up and scored a fine try of their own, with Scouler again providing the finishing touch to a flowing move in the Policeman’s Corner. His failed conversion attempt proved crucial to the final score, although for the final minutes of the tie, Melrose battered at the door of Dundee’s try line, only to be repelled time and again by a robust visiting 14 man defence.
This match featured the last Melrose appearance for Callum Wilde, introduced to the fray on 60 minutes. Callum has been a great servant to Melrose RFC and we wish him all the best for the future. Thank you Callum.
Full Time: Melrose 15 –Dundee High Rugby 14
Melrose: David Colvine, Aidan Cross, Gary McWilliam, Christiaan Smit, Kieran Clark, Donald Crawford, Ethan McVicker; Will Owen, Richard Ferguson ©, Jack Dobie, Thomas Brown, Gregor Lindsay, Ben McLean, Andrew Bradfield, Ruaridh Lindsay.
Replacements: Craig Fairbairn, Callum Wilde, John Cox, Chritian Townsend, Lewis Mallin
Dundee High Rugby: Kieran Scouler, Ruaridh Hood, Kieran D’aeth, Chad Ward, Cailean Baird-Chalmers, Rory McGinn, Daniel McGinn; Jack Newth, Sam Cardosi, James Shellard, Angus Thomson, Finlay Ormiston, Fraser Black, Tim Brown, Lewis McNamara.
Replacements: Josh Mark, Thomas Lindsay, Andrew Hamilton, Fraser McKay, Gavin Ross
Referee: Gordi Reid