Today’s Tennent’s National 1 match was played on a cold wet afternoon with an increasing wind blowing the length of the pitch. Playing into the wind Melrose exerted the initial pressure and took a six-point lead with two David Colvine penalties at 3 & 8 minutes. Despite the advantage of the wind it took Heriots until 11 minutes before they took play into the Melrose half passing well to John Rae who dived over to the left of the posts for the opening try with Graham Wilson converting. Six minutes later a Heriots rolling maul to the right of the posts resulted in the ball being passed left to Craig Robertson whose try in the Church Corner was well converted by Wilson from the touch-line. More excellent handling by Heriots at 25 minutes saw Nick Sutherland drop into the Church Corner for a try again converted by Wilson from the touch-line. The Heriots bonus point try came just on the interval from a scrum 5 to the right of the posts. Heriots passed left to Rae who raced in behind the posts leaving Wilson with a less challenging conversion.
Half time – Melrose 6 Heriots 28
Seven minutes into the second half Daniel Dineen scored from a rolling maul, Wilson converted and Ben McLean was sent to the sin-bin for disrupting the rolling maul. Eight minutes later Robertson finished a fine Heriots handling move with a try which the previously reliable Wilson failed to convert. On 67 minutes Martin Hughes was yellow carded for maul disruption and, just before his return, Melrose, at last, exerted pressure with a delicate chip kick to the left which was pounced on by Craig Fairbairn whose try in the Town Corner was well converted by Colvine from the touch-line to end the match.
Melrose 13 Heriots 40.
Melrose – David Colvine, Archie Spencer, Gary McWilliam, Elliot Ruthven, Keiran Clark, Donald Crawford, Douglas Crawford, Jake Fairley, Ben McLean, Jack Dobie, Thomas Brown, Gregor Lindsay, Callum Folan, Grant Runciman, Craig Fairbairn. Replacements – Logan Kirk, Sean Fisher, Connor Russell, Ross Lile, Roly Brett.
Heriots – Charles Simpson, John Rae, Oisin Quinn, Louis Meynier, Craig Robertson, Rory Carmichael, Graham Wilson, Peter Gillies, Dniel Dineen, Ross Hutchison, Callum Bell, Sean Johnstone, Peter McKerr, Nick Sutherland, Martin Hughes. Replacements – John Lascelles, Harry Simpson, Innes Hill, Finlay Hutchison, Matt Arnold.
Referee – Lee Fish