Melrose had the perfect preparation for their trip to defending Premiership champions Ayr this weekend with a resounding win over Heriots.
The Greenyards outfit bagged four tries to put themselves on top of the league, alongside familiar foes Gala and Ayr. And the home support were treated to the first Premiership sighting of new signing Damien Hoyland.
The ex-Boroughmuir winger is a Scotland under-20s international, and bagged two tries, including the opener, after he claimed a Richard Mill crossfield kick.
While Hoyland has youth on his side at the age of 19, Andrew Skeen showed experience is still a valuable asset when he squeezed over for the second score.
Joe Helps converted and notched two penalties, but Heriots responded after the break with a Graham Wilson penalty and Colin Goudie try in the corner.
However, Melrose killed off any thoughts of a revival as scrum half Bruce Colvine and Hoyland combined to set each other up for two more tries. An injury-time score for George Turner put a gloss on the scoreline for Heriots, but John Dalziel will be happy with his new side’s performance, with South African Austin Lockington and Devon under-20s lock James Head also looking like good signings.
Melrose: F. Thomson, D. Hoyland, A. Skeen, J. Helps, A. Lockington, R. Mill, B. Colvine; N. Little, R. Ferguson, N. Beavon, J. Head, R. Ovens, P. Eccles, G. Runciman, G. Dodds. Subs: C. Keen, G. Holborn, P. Parker, T. Wilson, H. Leonard.