Positive play eases anxiety for Melrose in seven-try win

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Aberdeen Grammar16

MELROSE spared their supporters the last minute worries of the previous two weeks by sewing up the game midway through the second half, writes Laing Speirs.

A seven try win was a tribute to the way Melrose rose above an indifferent first period in which they struggled to cope with a physical challenge from Aberdeen.

Three times they went behind, but the try scoring potential of a slick Melrose threequarter line was always going to be too much for the visitors to cope with, once some shaky handling was sorted out.

Some crisp running from Damien Hoyland and Callum Anderson stretched Aberdeen and up front Andrew Nagle, back from injury, had a robust afternoon.

The Melrose front row had to deal with a very positive Aberdeen trio but eventually proved their superiority. The run of injuries and a crucial yellow card that Aberdeen had to cope with saw the later scrums being uncontested, and Melrose were coasting towards the end.

John Dalziel reckoned his side’s defence had been an important factor in their big win, but the side had something to prove and he felt they had coped well with a physical challenge.

The Melrose coach had been a bit apprehensive about facing Aberdeen who he felt were getting better and better, but he was a bit more relaxed at the end of the game.

With a few Melrose players on the way back from injury, the team’s more positive play and their strong finish on Saturday show signs of easing any anxiety there might have been at The Greenyards.

Aberdeen’s Graeme Clow had three first-half penalties, while Melrose tried without too much success to get their handling right. But tries from Damien Hoyland and Gary Holborn gave Melrose a halftime lead, the extras coming from a conversion by Joe Helps.

The Melrose centre lost his kicking form on what was probably a good afternoon to do so, but he scored a second half penalty and a try along with others from Nick Beavon, Peter Eccles, a second from Hoyland and from Anderson.

Andrew Skeen converted Helps’ own try.