Melrose vs Watsonians
21 Jan 2017
Melrose vs Watsonians: 46-41
Melrose and Watsonians served up a high scoring match which would have been a treat for any neutral observers in the crowd, and for the supporters of each side, well, only the edge of the seats were required.
The conditions were glorious with the away team kicking off into a low sun which continued to get lower and more dazzling as the afternoon progressed. Watsonians struck first with an early penalty from Andrew Chalmers, but Melrose struck back within minutes to secure a first converted try. Grant Runciman finished off a flowing move made by Iain Moody, assisted by Austin Lockington. Almost immediately the home try count doubled with a very similar score, this time Fraser Thomson finishing Ross McCann’s break. Craig Jackson and Chalmers traded penalties before Ross McCann, fed by George Taylor, grabbed his sides third, again in much the same style spot as the first pair. The fourth try bonus came as a result of nimble football skills by Jackson, Lockington and Sam Pecqueur, the latter touching down after Jackson’s chip out from his own 22 was hacked ahead by the latter pair, Pecqueur winning the race to the ball. Jackson’s third successful conversion put the hosts into a seemingly unassailable 29-6 lead, especially as they seemed to be scoring tries at will. However, there came an immediate and sustained response from the Myreside men, with three tries in ten minutes from Viliami Fihaki in the Town Corner, Rory Steele in the same place and Scott McLeod benefiting from Angus Duckett’s cheeky interception, the third of these being the only one converted by Chalmers.
Half Time: Melrose 29, Watsonians 23
As the second half began, Melrose needed to find some breathing space, and it came in the form of Thomson’s second try, squeezing over in the Town Corner. With Craig Jackson injured in the build up to the try (and to whom we wish a speedy recovery), George Taylor stepped up to land the tricky conversion. Not that Watsonians were about to let the deficit they had worked so hard to reduce slip away, Fihaki promptly grounding his second of the day, this one unconverted, but the four try bonus secured. With a penalty on 53 minutes, Chalmers brought the visitors within five points (36-31), but Nick Beavon, deciding the backs had had their fun, rumbled over for an unconverted try, followed, with around 10 minutes to play, by Peter Eccles for try number seven. Fifteen points behind, there seemed to be consolation for the visitors with Reiss Cullen dancing his way over the line in the St. Mary’s Corner with only a minute or so left. ‘Sonians perseverance though, was rewarded deep into time up. Keeping the ball in play, Rory Steele grabbing his second, his side’s sixth, a losing bonus point and the thirteenth try of an absorbing feast of rugby.
Full Time: Melrose 46, Watsonians 41
Melrose: Fraser Thomson, Ross McCann, Austin Lockington, George Taylor, Sam Pecqueur, Craig Jackson, Murdo McAndrew; Jamie Bhatti, Russell Anderson, Nick Beavon, James Head, Anton Bresler, Ruaridh Knott, Grant Runciman, Iain Moody.
Subs: Richard Ferguson, Ruairi McLeod, Peter Eccles, Struan Hutchison, Gavin Wood
Watsonians: Andrew Chalmers, Keith Young, Scott McLeod, DJ Innes, Scott McKean, Ewan Scott, Reiss Cullen; Nathan Borel, Sean Crombie, Shaun Rowers, Fraser Morrison, Craig Borthwick, Viliami Fihaki, Angus Duckett, Rory Drummond ©.
Subs; Darren Miller, Martin Christie, Charlie McLean, Euan McKirdy, Rory Steele
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