Stirling County 19
RBS Women’s Plate Final
Melrose emerged with the Murrayfield silverware following this uncompromising battle between two committed but contrasting teams.
Pace won the day over pick and drive as Melrose outran Stirling who arrived confident off the back of an unbeaten league campaign.
A quick-fire start saw Melrose open up with a penalty from Nicola Halfpenny and tries from Lauren Harris and Chloe Rollie, one converted by Halfpenny, to go 15-0 up. Stirling responded with a converted try but Harris was off up the wing again minutes later, the try converted to put Melrose ahead 22-7 after 25m.
An unconverted try from Stirling was matched by another score from Harris as the half drew to a close, but Stirling closed the gap right on 40m when their centre broke wide for a converted try, making it 27-19 to Melrose at half time.
There was no stopping the pace in the second half as Harris crossed for her fourth. Indeed ‘Rose broke clear from deep on a number of occasions and could have run away with the match only to see a some certain scores pulled for what the ref decided were forward passes.
Melrose then weathered a long period of Stirling possession after a heavy tackle saw No 8 Lana Skeldon yellow carded to be quickly followed by another when Harris failed to release the ball.
Though Stirling tried hard to work the player advantage with their effective pick and drive Melrose hung on and a penalty from Halfpenny widened the gap.
Gillian Inglis picked up the Player of the Match trophy.
Melrose Ladies: C. Rollie; L. Harris, G. Inglis, S. Bell, K. Paterson; N. Halfpenny, E. Pate; M. Maciver, L. Purves, J. Hall, M. Young, N. Rivera, E. Hackney, R. Wood, L.Skeldon. Subs: T. Elms, D. Durham, I. Craigie, M. Robson, S. Webb, L. Gilchrist, A. Gordon-Smith.