Melrose 21

Hawick 10

Atholl Innes

at The Greenyards

IT was a typical derby on Saturday at The Greenyards, and thankfully neither the 1pm kick-off or the weather deterred the crowd.

There was relief for Melrose coach Rob Chrystie and disappointment for his Hawick counterpart, George Graham, in a gruelling contest, which the visitors really deserved to win.

And with former Scotland hooker, Scott Lawson, helping out, Melrose just snatched the win thanks to their key strength - the driving force of their pack.

At 37, Lawson, now Director of Rugby at St Andrews University, scored the opening try.

He said: “It was a typical Borders derby with two teams going hard at each other.

“There was a lot of physicality, a lot of endeavour, and it was good that the set-piece came to the fore in the end.

"It is a young man’s game and it is good to get the young boys playing.”

It had been a tight encounter with Melrose’s scrummaging finally dented Hawick’s aspirations.

He coach Chrystie knew his team had been in a tough battle.

He said: “We did not play well in the first half and Hawick made us work hard."

Hawick coach George Graham admitted that he was devastated after side came within 10 minutes of the club’s first away win of the season.

“The way I feel is worse than shipping 50 or 60 points,” he said.

“I thought that we were the better team for much of the game, but we never executed some of our moves."

On a wet and windy afternoon, Melrose had the early advantage of the gale and Lawson burrowed over and Hutchison converted.

Hawick were level when Stuart Graham finished off a sweeping move and Lee Armstrong converted for the clubs to turn round 7-7 at the interval.

Armstrong put Hawick back in front with a penalty, but the visitors could not add to their total – and were punished with the two final tries - one a penalty try and the other from Patrick Anderson - and Nikki Little spending the last nine minutes in the sin-bin.

Melrose: F. Thomson; I. Sim, G. Taylor, G. Wood, B. Colvine; S. Hutchison, M. McAndrew; G. Shiells, F, Scott, R. McLeod, I. Moody, J. Head, N. Irvine-Hess, S. Lawson, R. Darge. Replacements: R. Anderson, C. Young, G. Runciman, M. Mvelase-Julyan, P. Anderson.

Hawick: A Weir; K Davies, A Mitchell, G Walker, K Ford; L Armstrong, D Lightfoot; S Muir©, M Carryer, N Little, D Suddon, D Redpath, S Graham, D Davison, B McNeil. Subs: E Knox, D Lowrie, G Lowrie, K Young, S Kennedy.