Marr 0

Melrose 43

Kevin Quinn

at Fullarton Park

MELROSE moved on from the slight blip in the season and returned to winning ways with a comprehensive victory that netted a home tie in the forthcoming semi-final play-offs to decide the destination of the league title.

Based on the completeness of the performance delivered at Fullarton, many at the Greenyards will be growing in confidence and belief that the end of season silverware will be engraved with Melrose.

Playing in heavy and deteriorating conditions Melrose’s squad showed they could deal comfortably with everything Marr could throw at them.

They soaked up any pressure and the early cry of “Yellow” that was the call to arms to form Melrose’s defensive line was delivered to almost perfection through the full 80 minutes as the home side was effectively strangled out of the game.

A blitz defence with first time tackles, double hits and close support play meant that more often than not Melrose forced Marr to try to attack from behind the gain line.

Patience and pressure paid off as they forced Marr errors and punished them as opportunities presented.

The pattern of play was set within five minutes as Austin Lockington scored in the corner.

Ten minutes later try number two was added. This came after Marr were penalised and a kick to the corner provided the perfect platform for execution of a training ground catch and drive that ended with Russell Anderson at the bottom of the pile over as the ball was touched down.

Marr worked hard to try to get back into the match but Melrose’s defence was solid and merciless.

On the few occasions Marr managed to make half breaks through the middle or out wide the cover defence quickly snuffed out the threat.

It was a compelling and convincing performance that showed Melrose was on song and the dominant force in the league.

After soaking up ten or so minutes of Marr pressure Russell Andrews added try number three to close the half.

Quickly following the start of the second half the bonus point try was added, courtesy of Ruaridh Knott who crashed over from close range.

With Craig Jackson finally finding his mark the points from conversions were added and Marr were left with an insurmountable challenge.

Valiantly they battled back but again the yellow wall was impenetrable.

Melrose remained mature in defence and continued to soak up all that Marr could throw at them.

In the final quarter and as Marr became more desperate they conceded a penalty try.

As the match drew to a close Melrose started trio cut loose. They were rewarded by two further tries with Austin Lockington adding his second and this was followed in the final play with another try from Ruaridh Knott.

Melrose’s only bit to work on was their lineout as Marr plundered several loose put-ins. Aside from this the coaches could be very pleased by the consistency of the effort and application delivered.