Currie 21-25 Melrose: Currie fightback not quite enough

Fraser Thomson dives over to score the second Melrose try after cutting through the Currie defence. Photograph: Ian Rutherford

Fraser Thomson dives over to score the second Melrose try after cutting through the Currie defence. Photograph: Ian Rutherford

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Melrose survived a late scare to beat Currie at the third time of asking this season and storm into the semi-finals of the BT Scottish Cup.

The Borderers were 15 points ahead at half time and looked to be closing out the game comfortably but Currie scored two tries in the second half, hauling themselves to within four points and setting up the chance for an unlikely victory, however the Melrose defence denied them repeatedly as the clock ran down.

With both teams in the top four of the Premiership, the confrontation was always going to be highly competitive.

Currie carried the game to their opponents in the opening minutes when it all clicked into place and big second row Stephen Ainslie went rampaging up the right wing to feed full-back Harvey Elms for the try. Stand off James Semple thumped over the conversion from the touchline.

Almost immediately Melrose countered and produced two tries in the space of four minutes. The first came from a five-metre lineout and a driving maul that was blatantly pulled down at it approached the line and referee Sam Grove White had no hesitation in going to the posts to award the penalty try. The second came from full-back Fraser Thomson carving a path through a disorganised defence. Joe Helps converted both tries and a couple of minutes later added a penalty.

Just before half-time Thomson was again involved when he caught a clearance kick on halfway and ran it back so the ball passed through several hands before sticking with blindside flanker Neil Irvine Hess who crashed over on the left.

After the break, Currie changed their back row, bringing on club captain Ross Weston. It paid dividends within 10 minutes with Weston piloting an unstoppable maul over the line from close range. Semple converted.

However, another Helps penalty nudged his team further into the lead and Melrose seemed to be closing out the game when Currie produced a late flourish that saw winger Chris Logan claim a try five minutes from full time and Semple convert it to make the narrow lead vulnerable.

There was enough time for Currie to kick their way into the opposition 22, win the lineout and launch a determined attack that had Melrose nerves on edge right up to the end.

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