43-5 victory keeps Border League title challenge hopes alive for Melrose

Melrose remain in the running for a 21st Border League championship after demolishing an injury-ravaged Selkirk side 43-5 at the Greenyards on Friday night.

By Darin Hutson
Monday, 7th February 2022, 2:20 pm
Updated Monday, 7th February 2022, 2:20 pm
Sam Derrick being congratulated by team-mates after scoring a try for Melrose against Selkirk (Photo: Bill McBurnie)
Sam Derrick being congratulated by team-mates after scoring a try for Melrose against Selkirk (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

The hosts’ try-scorers were Robin Sharp and Sam Derrick with two apiece, along with Gav Wood, Finn Douglas and Zander Ramage. Ramage also contributed four conversions.Selkirk’s only impression on the scoresheet was an unconverted try by replacement wing Archie Penman, his first for the Tennent’s Premiership outfit.

That victory puts Melrose in pole position in the league’s pool B on six points from two matches, two ahead of fellow Tennent’s National League Division 1 side Kelso in second place.

There’s only one pool B game left to play, a visit to Selkirk, bottom of the table without any points, for Kelso on Friday, February 25, with kick-off at 7.30pm, to determine how the three-team table ends up.

Melrose full-back Donald Crawford being tackled by Selkirk's defence (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

Selkirk centre Ross Nixon was disappointed with his side’s performance, telling Borders Rugby TV afterwards: “We came out and we got a break with the first play. I don’t know if that was our downfall or not, but from there on it was a very tough night.

“Hats off to Melrose, they cam out with massive intensity, and we just did not meet that at all.

“We came here talking about going for the Border League, aiming for that, but then that’s just happened and it’s terrible.

“Our most senior guys didn’t step up to the plate tonight, myself included. It was terrible.

Melrose's Angus Runciman being brought down by Selkirk players (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

“We’ve been on a terrible run and we couldn’t buy a win just now.

“We’ve got Aberdeen away, so we’ve got to go up there and get a win, and then we’ve got GHA at home. It’s been a quick league and that’ll be it over and done with, but we need to take something out of it so at least we can go into the sevens and start the season on some sort of positive note."

His opposite number, Gav Wood, was more upbeat, saying: “This is a club that win things so any time we can get a chance at silverware, we’ll take it.”

Friday’s scheduled pool A game between Peebles and Hawick was postponed and will be rescheduled.

Hawick, like Jed-Forest, have yet to play a single game in the league but they’re due to meet on Friday, March 11, at the former’s Mansfield Park home ground.