Edinburgh Accies 20
RBS PREMIER LEAGUE
THE scrap for one of the four available British and Irish Cup places next season intensified on Saturday as Edinburgh Accies edged a win over Melrose.
The Greenyards outfit are clinging on to the fourth place by their fingernails, but the Raeburn Place outfit, with two games in hand, are breathing down the necks of the current contenders.
Playing a rescheduled Premier One fixture, Melrose came out the traps quickest with a series of pick-and-drives being rewarded with a successful penalty for Andrew Skeen who notched another minutes later when the visitors strayed offside.
Ruaridh Bonner reduced the deficit shortly after with a penalty of his own before a spell of Accies pressure led to Dan Teague scoring the first try of the match.
Pressure at the opposite end of the pitch led to a yellow card for former Selkirk player Nyle Godsmark, now playing for the Edinburgh side, who was sent to cool his heels for 10.
Taking full advantage, Melrose launched a full-on attack on the visitors line but found it difficult to cross the whitewash. A Joe Helps penalty eventually edged the homesters back into the lead, but the last 10 minutes of the half were reduced to a scrap in which no further points were added, leaving the half-time score at 9-8.
Seven minutes into the second half Accies replicated their first try, Godsmark popping up from a pile of bodies to claim the five points and Bonner converting.
The game continued in a shapeless nature until Callum Anderson threw an unfortunate pass into the grateful hands of Iain Berthinussen who scored Accies’ third try of the day.
With 15 minutes remaining, Melrose revived themselves enough for Alun Walker to latch on to the end of a spirited passage of play to touch down. Skeen brought Melrose to within a point with the conversion and a penalty, but the remainder of the game was all about Accies showing how much they wanted the victory. Melrose pressed hard, but gave up a penalty under the Accies posts at the death and the ball was hoofed to touch.
Melrose: J. Murray; C. Anderson, B. Dick, J. Helps, A. Dodds; A. Skeen, S. McCormick; N. Little, R. Ferguson, G. Holborn, P. Eccles, R. Miller, J. Dalziel, A. Nagle, A. Walker. Subs: W. Mitchell, C. Keen, G. Dodds, B. Colvine, R. Mill.