DUNDEE were good winners in a game vital to both sides for very different reasons, resulting in the home side moving off the bottom of the RBS Premiership, while for Melrose the defeat ended any lingering hopes of retaining its title.
Scorers: Dundee: Tries: Longwell, Steele, McIver. Con: Urquhart. Pens: Urquhart 5. Melrose: Tries: Colvine, Walker, Miller. Cons: Skeen 2.
Dundee did, however, make hard work of seeing off the misfiring Borderers who, despite their limitations, matched the home side’s three tries.
It was in fact the boot of Dundee full-back Jamie Urquhart who did the damage with five penalties, even having the luxury of missing three kicks at goal.
The type of scores mattered little to home coach Ian Rankin. “We worked hard for this win. I’m pleased for the guys. Our pack was tremendous,” he said.
His opposite number Craig Chalmers was surprised at his side’s lack of control in the game. “We have been making a habit of losing to poor teams,” he said.
Dundee led 15-5 at half-time on the back of two tries from prop Steve Longwell and centre Jack Steele. Urquhart added one conversion, while kicking his first penalty.
The visitors’ sole score was a sniping effort from scrum-half Bruce Colvine, one of the few stand-out performers for the Greenyards side.
Two early second-half penalties widened the gap to 16 points, but hooker Andy Walker and lock Ross Miller gave the champions a fighting chance, especially as both tries were converted by stand-off Andrew Skeen.
Dundee were not to be denied, scoring a third try through replacement flanker Richie McIver, but it was Urquhart who had the final say, earning his side its first win since 8 September with two late penalties.
Dundee: J Urquhart; A McLean, H Duthie, J Steele, A Dymock; B Laursen, R Laverty; S Longwell, N Dymock(c), G Robertson, A Linton, A Redmayne, C Cumming, I Wilson, D Levison. Subs used: A Brown, D Russell, R Hawkins, C Bowie, R McIver.
Melrose: A Jessop; U Kalamafoni, J Murray, R Mill, J Helps(c); A Skeen, B Colvine; N Little, A Walker, G Holborn, P Eccles, R Miller, J Dalziel, D Crawford, A Nagle. Subs used: W Mitchell, C Arthur, R Ovens, S McCormick, S Chalmers.
Referee: P Allan.