Doncaster Knights 29 - 30 Melrose: Resolute Rose unseat Knights
Melrose put in a superb second-half performance to record an away win at Doncaster Knights in their opening British & Irish Cup pool eight clash at Castle Park, writes Gary Heatly. The Borderers scored 23 points after the interval to shock the home crowd in Yorkshire.
Melrose started very well and after four minutes their skipper Bruce Colvine went through for a well-taken try. Stand-off Andrew Skeen converted and the visitors were 7-0 to the good. Three minutes later Doncaster responded with a try of their own by hooker Ben Sowery. The home side then took a 12-7 lead in the 19th minute after centre Will Simpson crashed over. Full-back Jamie Lennard kicked the extras.
A yellow card for full-back Fraser Thomson then increased the pressure on Melrose and Doncaster’s third try came when he was off the pitch, winger Dan Smith going over and it was 19-7. It stayed that way until half-time, but Melrose started the second half like the first. They scored a converted try by prop Gary Holborn after just 60 seconds.
Skeen then kicked a penalty in the 45th minute and centre Joe Helps added a long-range one as Melrose turned things around to lead 20-19.
Moments later, the hosts regained the lead through a penalty by Lennard before centre Bruce Dick scored a superb try for Melrose with Skeen converting to put them 27-22 up with 18 minutes to go. Skeen kept his cool to add his second penalty of the day before a late converted try by Flockhart, but Melrose held on.
Scorers: Doncaster: Tries: Sowery, Simpson, Smith, Flockhart. Pen: Lennard. Cons: Lennard 2, Flockhart. Melrose: Tries: Colvine, Holborn, Dick. Pens: Skeen 2, Helps. Cons: Skeen 3.
Doncaster: J Lennard; D Flockhart, W Simpson, J Tincknell, D Smith; T Luke, C Hallam; A Brown, B Sowery, B McGovern, P Hoy, D Parsons, A Boyde, A Kettle, D Bradford. Subs: T Davies, A Thompson, C Planchant, S Pailor, L Silver, T Barrett, D Mama.
Melrose: F Thomson; L Mallin, B Dick, J Helps, U Kalamafoni Junior; A Skeen, B Covine; N Little, A Walker, G Holburn, R Ovens, R Miller, J Dalziel, A Nagle, G Runciman. Subs: W Mitchell, C Arthur, S Johnson, R Ferguson, S McCormick, R Mill, S Chalmers.
Referee: S Rees (WRU).
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