CRAIG Jackson captained Melrose to a crucial win at The Greenyards in a game in which County deserved a bonus point and ended with nothing.
Jackson scored a vital try as Melrose failed to add a try bonus point in the final seconds when Jason Baggott kicked a last-second penalty.
In a tight first half, County sprung into the lead when Craig Pringle took advantage of a move across the field to score in the left-hand corner.
Jonny Hope converted to keep the visitors in command.
Baggott kicked a penalty to narrow the gap. The game ebbed and flowed before, in 27 minutes, Ruairidh Knott burst over a try to give the home side an 8-7 interval lead.
The County defence dug deep to thwart any Melrose attack.
Two penalties rocked Melrose at the start of the second half. Hope kicked one and Ross Jones was just short with another. Baggott was then yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on.
Melrose regained the lead with Jackson’s try and Jamie Bhatti added a third, Baggott converting both with Nemia Kenatale in the sin-bin before Shaun McDonald scored and Hope converted ahead of Baggott’s final kick.