Stirling County 27-40 Melrose

FINE weather continued for this BT Premiership match with the current second team in the league hosting the leaders. 

Two minutes into the match Melrose won a lineout on the Stirling 22 and from the resulting maul, the ball was spun right to Fraser Thomson who danced over the line for the opening try which Craig Jackson converted. 

From a penalty lineout five minutes later, Ally Miller crashed over for his first try. 

Melrose continued to dominate and, at 14 minutes, after a period of sustained pressure, a fine Jackson break let Gavin Wood score a try at the posts, with Jackson converting. 

Seven minutes later Stirling won a lineout on the Melrose 10m line, Matt Lamb breaking right through the Melrose defence to score a try between the posts. Jonny Hope converted then kicked penalties at 24 and 28 minutes. 

On the half hour Thomson made a fine break down the far side, and, having kicked ahead, was taken out by Lamb who was sent to the sin bin. With a minute to play before the interval Miller retrieved an over-thrown Stirling lineout ball and drove right through for the Melrose bonus point try. Jackson’s conversion ended the half.

Twelve minutes into the second half Melrose won a lineout on the right with the ball being passed cross-field to the left. Ross McCann did not need a second invitation to cross for a try converted by Jackson. 

From the re-start, taking advantage of a Melrose knock-on, Hamilton Burr charged up the stand side before off-loading to Lewis Wynne who flummoxed the Melrose defence to stroll in for a try converted by Hope.

Three minutes later Stirling gifted Melrose a scrum five from which Miller picked up and went over for his hat-trick try which Jackson converted.

Six minutes from the end Craig Robertson took a quick tap penalty and burrowed his way through a pile of bodies to score a try which Hope converted. Melrose spent the final five minutes closing the game down to prevent Stirling scoring their own bonus point try.

Stirling County: J Hope, M Lamb, E Macgarvie, L Bonar, L Trotter, P Jericevitch, R Swan, R Cheis, R Kennedy, G Holborn, C Hunter-Hill, J Beech, H Burr, L Wynne, R Leishman. Replacements: M Emmison, M Macdonald, J Pow, S Macdonald, C Robertson.

Melrose: F Thomson, R McCann, N Godsmark, C Jackson, G Wood, J Baggott, M McAndrew, G Shiells, R Anderson, R McLeod, J Head, A Runciman, I Moody, N Irvine-Hess, A Miller. Replacements: D Elkington, N Beavon, R Knott, B Colvine, B Chalmers.