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