Jed lose out in thriller

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Jed-Forest 22

Stewart’s/Melville FP 26

PREMIER DIVISION TWO

STUART CAMERON reports from Riverside Park

For the neutral on Saturday it was one of the most exciting rugby games you could hope to witness.

The lead changed hands on eight occasions, but in the end, the visitors pipped Jed at the post to retain their unbeaten record.

The big Riverside crowd certainly got their money’s worth – and although the visitors won the try-count 3-1, the penalty count on both sides was quite high and Jed’s Chris Laidlaw enjoyed the better day with the boot, converting a Donald Grieve try and kicking five penalties.

As injury-time beckoned, a lost line-out from the boys in royal blue gave Stew/Mel possession which they used well, getting the ball into the red zone and setting up a platform near the left corner for their pack to work their magic and score at the death. Former Peebles prop Willie Aitken got the all-important touchdown.

There was still time for Jed to score a try, but their opponents’ strong defence held out.

Ex-Jed fly half Seb Trotter kicked two penalties for Stew/Mel, while Laidlaw did the same for the home side, all in the first 12 minutes, before Andy Hughes found himself in space on the left channel and beat off the challenge of Iain Chisholm to score. Trotter’s conversion was good.

Jed fought back and, with the visitors down to 14 men after Donald Sangster was yellow-carded, they took advantage and Donald Grieve touched down. Laidlaw kicked the extras to square the game.

Laidlaw edged Jed in front with a penalty after the break before Mike Hanning dived over in the corner for Stew/Mel’s second try. Laidlaw put Jed in front again with another penalty, but four minutes later Hanning kicked a three-pointer to grab the lead back once more. Within two minutes, Laidlaw had made it 22-21 and Jed had six minutes to run the clock down and claim the four points. They nearly did it, but that Aitken try proved decisive.

You can see highlights of this match and Kelso v Selkirk at Borders Rugby Television at www.BordersRugby.net

Jed-Forest: I. Chisholm; G. Young, R. Hogg, E. Scott, D. Gobby; C. Laidlaw, R. Goodfellow; R. Ferguson, D. Grieve, A. Croitoru, P. Hill, N. Cook, A. Nagle, D. Grieve, D. Gillespie. Subs: A. Ions, S. Raeburn, S. Scott, L. Young.