BORDER grit and experience proved too much for northern desire, enabling Melrose to get back into the mix in a thrilling game with the outcome always in doubt.
Aberdeen – Tries: McGinness, Smith, Hagart. Cons: Hagart (2). Pens: Hagart (2).
Melrose – Tries: Colvine (2), Runciman, White. Cons: Colvine (2), Helps (2). Pens: Colvine (2).
Grammar looked out of it after only 20 minutes, trailing 20-3, only to battle back to lead 25-20 early in the second half, and with the wind at their backs looked the more likely.
Melrose then displayed the character and fighting qualities which made them champions, taking on the homesters up front, aided by astute use of the replacement bench by coach Craig Chalmers.
Two late tries by Grant Runciman and Greig White stunned Aberdeen, who are left still seeking a first win, though their best player on the pitch, lock Murray, Douglas insisted: “We are only one win away from going on a run of victories.’’
For Chalmers it was an encouraging turnaround. “We’ll take that. We are now back in the title mix,’’ he said before praising the contribution of scrum-half Bruce Colvine, who ended the game at stand-off and scored all his side’s 20 first-half points. “His two tries, conversions and two penalties set us up,’’ said Chalmers.
Grammar’s touchdowns came from Tony McGinness, Stuart Smith and Alex Hagart who also kicked two penalties and two conversions to underline his teenage potential.
On this form, it can only be a matter of time before Aberdeen register a first win, but they must first exhibit greater composure if they are to finish the season still in the Premiership, while the Borderers will surely be contesting the honours at the end of the season.
On the downside of a stirring contest, referee Neil Patterson found it necessary to award 27 penalties, yet missed so many infringements involving both teams.