Melrose 35

Glasgow Hawks 13

Atholl Innes at The Greenyards

THE Melrose bandwagon rolled on at The Greenyards on Saturday with a performance that maintained the club’s unbeaten run in the Premiership.

Not even the most ardent supporters visualised a bonus point when their team trailed 6-10 at the interval.

But the pressure and power of their forwards brought a reward with the final try in the 82nd minute of a tough contest.

Melrose turned a balanced first half into a bonus-winning second 40 minutes with four tries to remain the side to defeat in the race for the title.

However, Melrose coach, Robert Chrystie did not take everything for granted as he played down the victory.

He told us: “Hawks were excellent and came here with a clear plan and put us under pressure.

"We were really positive at half-time and I was very pleased with the way the boys reacted in the second half.

“Hawks defended really well in the first half.

"It is not always going to be plain sailing, and every game will have its ups and downs. But I am delighted with the victory.”

Melrose tightened their game after the interval and gave away only two penalties, while the fourth try from replacement Ruairdh Knott epitomised the club’s strength in depth.

Hawks had to play for 10 minutes without Matt Smith, who was yellow-carded in the second half.

And Melrose took full advantage.

Melrose stepped up a gear after the interval with more authority to their game, and the fact that they conceded only three points epitomised their dominant performance.

Hawks had led at the break through a Brendan McGroarty try, converted by George Horne.

Horne also kicked a penalty to two penalties by Craig Jackson, gave the visitors a 10-6 lead at the turn-round.

However, despite a second penalty by Horne, Melrose were rampant after the break with two tries by Murdo McAndrew from close range; one from Russell Anderson from a forwards’ drive; and the late score from Knott, together with three Jackson conversion and penalty, stretched Melrose’s unbeaten run to four matches.

Melrose: F. Thomson; R. McCann, N. Godsmark, C. Jackson, S. Pecqueur; J. Baggott, M. McAndrew; G. Shiells, R. Anderson, R. McLeod, J. Head, A. Runciman, I. Moody, G. Runciman, A. Miller. Replacements: R. Ferguson, D. Elkington, R. Knott, B. Colvine, J. Johnstone.