The semi-final of the 2016/17 BT Cup was played in warm, sunny and still conditions on a superb Greenyards pitch.Two minutes into the match Murdo McAndrew, on his own 22, put in a high box kick with no length on it. Logan Trotter fielded the ball between the Melrose 10 & 22 and, with the exuberance of youth, the Scotland U20 cap raced, unchallenged, down the touch-line to score the opening try in the Church Corner. Three and thirteen minutes later Ross Thomson increased the Stirling lead to 11 points by kicking two penalties in between which Jason Baggott was wide with a long range penalty. At the end of the first quarter Fraser Thomson collected the ball in his own half and made a fine break down the far side off-loading to Grant Runciman who, in turn, passed inside to Sam Pecqueur who scored a great try to the right of the posts with Baggott adding the conversion. On the half hour Melrose again broke down the far side with Fraser Thomson crossing in the Policeman's Corner for a try which gave Melrose the lead. With six minutes of the half remaining Melrose put in a rolling maul with Russell Anderson crossing for the try which Baggott converted.
Half time - Melrose 19 Stirling County 11.
Seven minutes into the second half Melrose won a penalty lineout in St. Mary's Corner and this time it was Nick Beavon who drove over for a try converted by Baggott. At 56 minutes Stirling put in a series of picks and drives ending with Adam Sinclair crashing over for a try converted by Ross Thomson. To keep the scoreboard ticking over Baggott kicked a penalty at 61 minutes and, two minutes later, after a series of plays, Beavon forced his way over for his second try which Baggott duly converted. At 74 & 80 minutes Nyle Godsmark and Ruaridh Knott scored tries with Baggott converting the first, but not the second.
Melrose 48 Stirling County 18
The BT Cup final will be played on Saturday, 22nd April at BT Murrayfield between Melrose and Ayr, who beat Glasgow Hawks 28-10 this afternoon.
Melrose - Fraser Thomson, Austin Lockington, Nyle Godsmark, George Taylor, Sam Pecqueur, Jason Baggott, Murdo McAndrew, Jamie Bhatti, Russell Anderson, Ruairi McLeod, James Head, Aaron Welsh, Neil Irvine-Hess, Grant Runciman, Ruairdh Knott. Replacements - Cammie MacKay, Dan Elkington, Nick Beavon, Ally Grieve, Bruce Colvine, Craig Jackson, Gavin Wood.
Stirling County - Jonny Hope, Shaun MacDonald, Craig Pringle, Sam Johnson, Logan Trotter, Ross Thomson, Alex Black, Mike MacDonald, Reyner Kennedy, Adam Nicol, Hamilton Burr, Adam Sinclair, Alex Taylor, Ruairidh Leishman, Chris Fusaro. Replacements - Matt Emmison, Mark Hunter, Ferguson Bradbury, Andrew Grant-Suttie, Colin Turnbull, Logan Bonar, Andrew McLean.
Referee - Graham Wells. Assistants - Neil Muir & Digby Thomas.