Jed-Forest 29

Melrose 22

Atholl Innes

at Riverside Park

IT was inevitable that after the first official XV-a-side game of the season on Saturday at Riverside Park the coaches were passive about the match and enthusiastic over the future.

The Booker Border League game hung in the balance until the 78th minute when Gregor Young snatched the vital fourth try on a day of seven tries as the new faces in both sides fought for their places ahead of the forthcoming season.

Stuart Johnson, who has taken over at The Greenyards after Rob Christie’s decision to coach the Super Six squad, and assisted by ex-Gala coach Chris Dalgleish, praised his new side for a performance that could have won the game.

Melrose hit back from a 15-0 deficit to lead 22-15 before being pegged back and lose the contest to the late score.

“We can take a lot of positives and the only negativity was the defeat,” Johnson said.

“A lot of boys stepped up to the mark, including five from last season’s under-18s. It is ‘early season’, but the performance was massively positive.”

Jed coach Kevin Barrie was equally delighted.

“We had gained a lot of confidence from the sevens and a lot of the boys only came back on Thursday from holiday.

"You could see them tiring at the end and others stepped up from the Thistle.”

Gary Munro gave Jed an encouraging start with a try in five minutes and he converted for a 7-0 lead, as well as later kicking a penalty.

Gregor Law added try number two before Melrose rallied.

Referee David Young awarded a penalty try after a drive to the line and a Donald Crawford touch down, converted by David Colvine, cut the deficit to 15-14 at the break.

Melrose went ahead with a Chris Raymond try, then a Colvine penalty.

But two tries from Lewis Young and Gregor Young, both converted by Munro, squeezed Jed into the lead for the final time.

Jed-Forest: L. Young; R. Marshall, Gregor Young, M. Mitchell, R. Shirra-Gibb; R. Yourston, G. Munro; G. Paxton, K. Lamont, H. Meadows. Gary Young, G. Law, D. Wardrop, J. Howe, O. Heka. Replacements: C. Lothian, F. Campbell, A. Keeler, E. Lauder, N. Stingl, C. Young, J. Laing.

Melrose: K. Clarke; L. Mallin, D. Colvine, G. McWilliam, J. Brown; D. Crawford; F. Broomfield; M. Wilson, B. McLean, C. Crookshank, T. Brown, G. Lindsey, C. Raymond, H. Morris, G. Runciman. Replacements: R. Ferguson, S. Fisher, C. Fairbairn, T. Andrews, C. Wilde, T. Klein, C. Meager.