Doncaster Knights 29
BRITISH & IRISH CUP
MELROSE stormed back from 7-19 down at half-time to triumph 30-29 and were praised by their coach Craig Chalmers for maintaining the tempo of the game and for the impact of players off the bench.
Playing at Castle Park the Melrose men recorded their fifth win in the competition over the last three years and the first of the 2012/13 campaign.
The travelling Borders outfit got off to the best of starts when skipper Bruce Colvine swept through for a well taken try which was converted by Andrew Skeen.
Tries from Doncaster’s Ben Sowery and Will Simpson, the latter converted by Jamie Lennard, put the hosts ahead however before a yellow card for Melrose full back Fraser Thomson put Melrose under further pressure. Dan Smith went over during the 10 minute spell, converted by Lennard, and the hosts went in at the break with a healthy lead.
It was prop Gary Holburn who triggered the come back with a try just a minute after the restart with Bruce Dick adding another shortly afterwards. Skeen kicked both conversions and a brace of penalties while Joe Helps added another three pointer.
Lennard kicked a penalty and converted a late try by Doncaster’s Scottish winger Dougie Flockhart but Melrose held out to the whistle to take a memorable victory in the tournament.
Melrose: F. Thomson; L. Mallin, B. Dick, J. Helps, U. Kalamafoni Jnr; A. Skeen, B. Colvine; N. Little, A. Walker, G. Holburn, R. Ovens, R. Miller, J. Dalziel, A. Nagle, G. Runciman. Subs: W. Mitchell, C. Arthur, S. Johnson, R. Ferguson, S. McCormick, R. Mill, S. Chalmers.