Melrose overcome early burst of Biggar strength

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Melrose 27

Biggar 11

PREMIER CUP POOL C

Iain Houston reports from the Greenyards

DESPITE the recent heavy rains The Greenyards pitch was in good condition, and the weather was fair, for this Hydro Electric Cup match.

Biggar attacked vigorously with Craig Parker opening the scoring at 10 minutes with a penalty atoning for his earlier miss, and then repeating his efforts with another at 15 minutes.

Scott Wight opened the Melrose account with a penalty, the result of Parker being sent to the sin-bin before Jamie Murray made a break out of defence passing to Fraser Thomson who raced down the far touch line off-loading to Allan Dodds who crossed in the Policeman’s Corner and touched down half way to the posts. Inexplicably Wight’s conversion attempt slid wide. Half time: Melrose 8 Biggar 6.

Within the first minute of the second half, Biggar full back, Mike McKeand, was sin-binned. From a scrum five shortly after Rob Chrystie passed right to John Dalziel. A wide gap opened up in the Biggar defence and Dalziel strode through for a try converted by Wight.

Biggar were still pressing hard and a quickly taken tap penalty five metres out by Jason Kelly saw him crash over for an unconverted try in the Town Corner.

Five minutes later, with Biggar defending stoutly, the ball went backwards and forwards across the pitch in a series of picks and drives by Melrose before Dalziel scored a try to the right of the posts, Wight converting. At 68 minutes Melrose won a scrum five and the ball was passed right, ending up in the hands of Dalziel who dove over at St Mary’s Corner for his hat-trick and the Melrose bonus point try. That ended the scoring in a match which, despite the good conditions was characterised by handling errors, similar to those exhibited by Scotland later in the day.

Melrose: F. Thomson; A. Dodds, J. Murray, J. Helps, B. Allen; S. Wight, R. Chrystie; N. Little, G. Innes, G. Holborn, G. Elder, S. Johnson, J. Dalziel, G. Runciman, R. Miller. Subs: R. Higgins, N. Beavon, H. Mitchell, S. McCormick, C. Murray.