Melrose 29

Heriot’s 12

Atholl Innes

at The Greenyards

AFTER an 8-5 win at Goldenacre last month, Melrose were expecting another robust contest on Saturday at The Greeenyards.

It looked to be on the cards when Michael Liness put the cup holders ahead in six minutes, but Melrose soon swept into top gear and blew their opponents aside in a devastating first half.

The hosts looked unstoppable, and they took a step towards a league and cup double with an emphatic victory to leave Heriot’s clinging only to a possible top-four place.

“We played some really good stuff,” said coach Rob Chrystie.

“It was up a level from where we have been recently.”

His sentiments were echoed by Rugby Director Mike Dalgetty after a victory, achieved in a dominant first half, which ended with the hosts leading 29-5 at the interval.

“The first half was just about perfect. The second half was a lot closer and Heriot’s were always going to come back into the game with the changes we made,” he said.

“That is a massive end of the season we have now. It’s a huge congratulation to all our players. They are a great bunch of boys”

Heriot’s coach Phil Smith was obviously disappointed, particularly after his side scored the opening try in six minutes.

“We were outgunned in the first 25 minutes. We were certainly outplayed, made a few errors, and Melrose were very clinical,” he said.

“They did a lot of good things a lot of the time and at half-time our boys felt very low and that they had not done anything – and that’s not like them.”

There was no indication of what was to follow when Liness drove over for the opening try – but Melrose’s opening try by Austin Lockington from a break by Fraser Thomson was quick and decisive, James Baggot converting.

Thomson was also instrumental in the second try two minutes later, collecting a clearance in his own half, splitting the Heriot’s defence, and sending Lockington over again.

Melrose continued to dominate as Heriot’s struggled to get into the match and George Taylor’s score in 25 minutes and Lewis Carmichael’s from Taylor’s pass, Baggot converting both, and a Baggot penalty, sealed a semi-final place.

It was six minutes from the end before Junior Rasolea touched down and John Semple converted… but despite a yellow card to Cameron MacKay, the hosts were in easy street.

Melrose: F. Thomson; A. Lockington, N. Godsmark, G. Taylor, S. Pecquer; J. Baggot, M. McAndrew; D. Elkington, R. Anderson, R. McLeod, J. Head, L. Carmichael, R. Knott, G. Runciman, I. Moody. Replacements: C. MacKay, C. Crookshanks, A. Welsh, P. Eccles, B. Colvine, A. Grieve, G. Wood.