Heriots 22 Melrose 25
Fiona Scott reports from Goldenacre
THE Goldenacre pitch may have escaped the hard frost that wiped out many of the Scottish club games this weekend but it took Melrose some time to warm up in this Premiership tie.
It took only two minutes for Heriots to score. Mike Penn caught the Melrose defence cold before slipping the ball inside to captain Graham Wilson who also converted.
Ten minutes later Colin Goudie broke free to run in number two and Melrose were looking down the wrong end of a 12-0 scoreline 15 minutes into the game.
When Rose got warmed up however they were absolutely sizzling. Heriots went a man down when prop Struan Cessford was sent to the sin bin and the men from the Greenyards took full advantage. Firstly Andrew Nagle crashed over from close range before Joe Helps slotted a long distance penalty. Fraser Thomson ran the length of the pitch to touch down and suddenly Melrose were a point in front.
Heriots came back and pushed hard to get back in front but some great defence by Melrose kept the score at 13-12 to the visitors at half time.
After the restart Melrose were still hot to trot and following some great work by their forwards the ball was shipped out wide to Thomson who ran in for a second.
Stalemate ensued for the next 20 minutes with most of the play in the Melrose 22. The Borderers managed to keep their hosts at bay but as the game moved in to the final quarter Max Learmonth crossed twice in the space of five minutes to put his team ahead by four points.
The final minutes were all Melrose as they strove to get the win that they more than possibly deserved. And they did. Two minutes into injury time Andrew Skeen was the last line of attack and crossed the line to touch down and convert himself in what was the last play of the game.
Melrose: F. Thomson; B. Colvine, J. Murray, J. Helps; S. Chalmers; R. Mill, S. McCormack; N. Little, R. Ferguson, G. Holborn, R. Ovens, R. Miller, J. Dalziel, G. Runciman, A. Nagle. Subs: W. Mitchell, C. Keen, P. Eccles, A. Skeen, L. Mallin.