Today’s Tennent’s National 1 match was played in bitterly cold and windy, but mainly dry, conditions with the Myreside floodlights on from the start. With five minutes played Stuart Allison completed several phases of play close to the Melrose line by diving over at the posts for a try converted by Kerr Stoddart. Within a minute Allison broke down the far side diving into the left corner for an unconverted try, and four minutes later collected his “hat-trick” try after a series of picks and drives to the left of the posts with Stoddart adding the extras. The Watsonian bonus point try came at 23 minutes with a breakthrough the middle of a ruck ending as Donald Kennedy scored the unconverted try in the left corner. Douglas Crawford earned himself a yellow card at 27 minutes for killing the ball on the ground, and from the resulting scrum, taken instead of a kick, Watsonians pushed over with Andrew O’Neill being credited with the unconverted touchdown. Five minutes short of the break Melrose won a penalty lineout in the left corner with Gary McWilliam scoring. David Colvine’s attempted conversion looked good, but at the last moment it was caught by the wind and rebounded off the right upright. From the kick-off Watsonians, courtesy of a mal-functioning Melrose lineout, drove for the line. Callum Lauder’s touchdown was unconverted.
Half time – Watsonians 34 Melrose 5
Fourteen minutes into the second half Corann Henderson hacked through and followed up to score a long-distance try which Stoddart converted. Almost immediately Ally Davidson was sin-binned for a “dump” tackle and six minutes later Matt McPhillips was binned for a deliberate knock-on. With Watsonians now down to 13 players, Melrose spread the ball wide from the lineout in the right corner with Logan Kirk scoring an unconverted try in the left corner. With thirteen minutes remaining Stoddart ended the scoring with an Exocet penalty kick which barely rose above crossbar hight from just inside the Melrose half.
Watsonians 44 Melrose 10
Watsonians – Kerr Stoddart, Ally Davidson, Matt McPhillips, Alexander Begg, Corann Henderson, Chris Bell, Donald Kennedy, Guy Kelly, Kresimir Coric, Angus Small, Ciaran Kinnear, Tom Richardson, Callum Lauder, Stuart Allison, Andrew O’Neill. Replacements – Connor Wilson, Josh Law, Charlie Fullerton, Van Kacori, Finlay Broomfield.
Melrose – David Colvine, Archie Spencer, Gary McWilliam, Christaan Smit, Keiran Clark, Donald Crawford, Douglas Crawford, Jake Fairley, Ben McLean, Jack Dobie, THOMAS Brown, Craig Fairbairn, Connor Russell, Callum Fola, Grant Runciman. Replacements – Logan Kirk, Archie Bogle, Andrew Bradfield, Christian Townsend, Elliot Ruthven.
Referee – Calum Worsley