Melrose 16

Hawick 10

Atholl Innes

at The Greenyards

AFTER the disappointment of defeats in the national cup and Championship play-offs, Melrose came good on Tuesday night to lift the Booker Border League for the third time in a row and the 20th overall.

A late try by Grant Runciman sealed victory at The Greenyards ‘at the end of a long, hard season’, according to Rugby Director Mike Dalgetty.

“It is always nice to win a final, especially the Border League, but it was a really tough game.

"We have had a ridiculous amount of injuries and the boys are glad to see the end of the season.

“There will be a lot of changes next season and a lot of the players will move up and others into the club side which we want to be competitive, and we are looking forward to the challenges.”

The Greens led 10-8 at half-time before a Runciman try with 15 minutes left sealed the game for Melrose.

Two missed kicks and a yellow card for Bruce McNeil did not help Hawick’s cause, but Melrose had two misses of their own.

Lee Armstrong gave Hawick the lead with a penalty before Bruce Colvine put Melrose in front with a try in seven minutes.

Struan Hutchison, who moved to stand-off in the absence of Craig Jackson, kicked Melrose further ahead, but the Hawick try did arrive two minutes from the interval when Dalton Redpath found himself in space to score.

Armstrong added the conversion as the Greens turned round 10-8 ahead.

Melrose went back ahead with a Hutchison penalty, and with McNeil in the sin-bin, Melrose took advantage to clinch the cup with Runciman’s try.

Melrose: D. Crawford; I Sim, P. Anderson, G. Wood, M. Mvelase-Julyan; S. Hutchison, B. Colvine; G. Shiells, R. Anderson, C. Young, J. Head, C. Crookshanks, R. Knott, G. Runciman, I. Moody. Replacements: B. McLean, T. Brown, P. O’Sullvan, A. Grieve, M. McAndrew, T. Klein.

Hawick: A. Weir; K. Ford, A. Mitchell, K. Davies, L. Gordon-Wooley; L. Armstrong, G. Welsh; S. Muir, M. Carryer, D. Johnstone, D. Redpath, D. Lowrie, J. Linton, S. Graham, B. McNeil. Replacements: C. Renwick, N. Little, R. McKean, D. Lightfoot, G. Huggan, G. Welsh, A. Redpath.