Doncaster Knights 29 - 30 Melrose: Second-half rally sees Melrose triumph
Melrose recorded their fifth ever win in the British & Irish Cup on Saturday after a brilliant second half performance stunned the Doncaster Knights at Castle Park.
Doncaster Knights: Tries: Sowery, Simpson, Smith, Flockhart. Pen: Lennard. Cons: Lennard 2, Flockhart.
Melrose: Tries: Colvine, Holborn, Dick. Pens: Skeen 2, Helps. Cons: Skeen 3.
Last season the Borderers defeated Bedford Blues and Aberavon in the cross-border event and in 2010/11 they had got the better of Esher and Nottingham.
And like the away victory at Nottingham two years ago when they won 31-29, this match in Yorkshire had the visiting supporters biting their nails until the very last minute.
Trailing 19-7 at the break, it seemed as if Melrose were up against it with the English Championship outfit, but as is so often the case, a try just after the interval changed the whole dynamic of the contest and the Scots took control.
Eventually they came through 30-29 to spark celebrations and full-back Fraser Thomson said: “That is the best British & Irish Cup game I have been involved in with the club. The win at Nottingham a couple of years ago was good, but the way we came back in the second half in this one was superb and it will give the guys a belief that we can go on and beat other teams in this tournament.
“Doncaster were a big side, but the guys tackled really well and kept going and we got what we deserved in the end.”
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 after a good forward drive.
The home side then took a 12-7 lead in the 19th minute after a good move that saw centre Will Simpson crashed over. Full-back Jamie Lennard then kicked the extras.
A yellow card for Thomson then increased the pressure on Melrose and Doncaster’s third try came while he was off the pitch, winger Dan Smith going over just before the half hour mark to make the score 19-7.
Prop Gary Holborn started the comeback with a try in the 41st minute while another try from centre Bruce Dick and expert kicking from Skeen and centre Joe Helps saw the Borderers home. That was despite a late try from Doncaster’s Scottish winger Dougie Flockhart.
For a jubilant Melrose, back-row Grant Runciman tackled everything that moved while second-row Ross Ovens also put in a power of work.
Doncaster Knights: 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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Sunday 19 May 2013
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