“I thought the players were absolutely immense,” said coach Bruce Aitchison. “That was one of the proudest performances I have seen from a Boroughmuir team.
“We’ve been seeing this coming for weeks. The team has been taking hidings and they have been getting pelters and it is unjustified. We can make excuses but they don’t matter because the scoreboard says we have been runners-up.
“Today, I thought the team was excellent but we have to remember that in the first half we were poor, we gave them too much respect and there were too many silly individual errors. But we didn’t let Melrose get too far away, we didn’t chase the game when we went behind.
“We got ourselves back into the game. We managed the conditions well, we put them under pressure at the scrum and it came good. But let’s not get too carried away. I have told the boys this cannot be the highlight of our season.”
Melrose, who had clinically despatched league-leaders Ayr the previous week, had controlled play in the first half and kept the scoreboard ticking over steadily. Boroughmuir, with a run of seven defeats behind them, didn’t get a look-in, let alone any points.
One minute into the second half and Melrose might have wrapped it all up when winger Joe Helps was about to dive over the line for their third try and Muir scrum half Robbie Smith smashed him into touch at the corner flag to save what looked like a certain try.
It all seemed to change in that moment as the heavens opened and a downpour of biblical proportions lashed the pitch. Melrose’s earlier dominance was washed away and they were suddenly having to repel wave after wave of attacks.
Winger Jordan Edmunds went in for a first try, and then for a second with ten minutes still to go. In a game that had been transformed from a dour predictable battle into an out-and-out thriller, Boroughmuir battered at the Melrose line where the tackling became increasingly desperate. Two Melrose props, Gary Holborn and Jamie Bhatti, were yellow carded before Boroughmuir loosehead Karl Furey finally crossed for the try two minutes into injury time.
The conversion was still required for the win. The whole Boroughmuir team stood on the ten-metre line in the pouring rain, arms interlocked like footballers watching a penalty shoot-out. Inside centre David Reekie stepped forward, having kicked one conversion and missed another. On a good day it would have been easy but the rain made it disproportionately tricky. Reekie nailed it and the home side cavorted in the mud.
Nobody at Meggetland could have predicted the final outcome after Melrose cruised through the first 40 minutes with tries by lock Lewis Carmichael and full back Fraser Thomson and a conversion and a couple of penalties by Helps.
The sense of resignation among home supporters gradually changed to one of anticipation and then finally expectation as that final kick went over the bar.
Melrose coach John Dalziel said: “Coming on the back of our win over Ayr last week, this was a very disappointing performance.”