Melrose 10

Currie Chieftains 31

Atholl Innes

at The Greenyards

MELROSE battled hard in vain in a game at the Greenyards that moved Currie into second place in the race for the play-offs and dropped the hosts to fourth spot.

They now have it all to do if they want to hold on the Premiership and the cup.

And Rob Chrystie, the Melrose coach, admitted: “It wasn’t win at all costs on Saturday, but now it is.

“We are where we are (reference to the play-off and a cup game against Watsonians) and we could be heading to play Ayr.”

Melrose were again struck by injuries, this time to Neil Irvine-Hess and Fraser Thomson.

“It was a seven-point game going into the last 10 minutes, but Currie took their opportunities,” Chrystie said.

“From our point, we have a lot of boys coming in and who will be better for it.

"It seems to take a lot to get over the line the game we are playing, and sometimes we do not get our rewards.

“We are missing some key personnel, but we are looking to the future as well. We know where our strengths lie and wanted to give boys the chance.”

Mark Cairns, the Currie coach, said: “I know that Melrose had to make replacements. I knew that in the last 20 minutes the game would open up.”

It did as Currie secured the crucial bonus point with two tries in the final 10 minutes with Melrose stretched to their ultimate limit.

An early try from Ben Robbins and a Chris Davies score, both converted by Gregor Hunter, who also kicked a penalty, gave Currie an advantage before Irvine-Hess was driven over in first-half injury time with Mike Vernel in the sin-bin.

Craig Jackson converted and Melrose trailed only 7-17 at the break.

But Currie continued in charge of the match despite a Jackson penalty before Matthew Hooks and Vincent Wright touched down in the final 10 minutes, Hunter again adding the conversions.

The win dropped Melrose to fourth place with one game left to play ahead of the play-offs.

But that visit to play Boroughmuir.will not take place until March 2.

Melrose: F. Thomson; D. Colvine, P. Anderson, G. Wood, L. Mvelase-Julyan; C. Jackson, M. McAndrew; G. Shiells, R. Ferguson, C. Young, A. Runciman, R. Knott, N. Irvine-Hess, G. Runciman, C. Wilde. Replacements: B. McLean, C. Crookshanks, M. Wilson, S. Hutchison, A. Jardine.