MELROSE’S campaign to retain the Premiership trophy took a nosedive on Saturday as they hit the halfway stage in the domestic championship season.
Even with two games in hand the challenge will now be a tough one as wins for Currie, Gala and leaders Ayr widened the gap at the top of the table.
Once again, missed tackles led to try-scoring chances for the opposition and Currie opened the scoring after five minutes with a Jamie Forbes penalty, James Johnstone having previously passed up a chance for a try when he failed to control a Forbes pass, the line at his mercy.
Within a couple of minutes Alex Fiskin stretched the lead when he finished a good move on the right.
Andrew Skeen put ’Rose’s first points on the board with a penalty on 23 minutes, but Forbes replied in kind shortly after, and on the stroke of half-time Johnstone broke two tackles to touch down. Forbes’ conversion allowed the hosts to take a commanding 18-3 lead at the break.
Ten minutes after the restart the Melrose forwards gathered their collective strength to send Gary Holborn over for a try, Andrew Skeen adding the extras, but once again Currie replied with No8 Ross Weston emerging from the pile to claim a try that restored his side’s 18-point margin.
Currie fought hard to gain a four-try bonus point in the last quarter, but the visitors fought harder, managing to deny the Malleny men this precious extra.
Melrose: S. Chalmers; B. Colvine, B. Dick, J. Helps, U. Kalamafoni; A. Skeen, S. McCormick; N. Little, W. Mitchell, G. Holborn, R. Ovens, R. Miller, A. Walker, G. Runciman, A. Nagle. Subs: I. Robertson, C. Arthur, P. Eccles, A. Jessop, R. Mill.