Scorers: Melrose: Tries, Thomson, Murray, Skeen. Con, Skeen; Pens, Mill (2), Skeen. Currie: Tries, Sneddon, James, Entwhistle. Cons, Hinds (3).
His side dominated for spells and led 14-6 at one time before tries in 75 and 79 minutes by Jamie Murray, on his comeback, and Andrew Skeen turned the game in Melrose’s favour and showed the Scottish champions’ resilience and fighting spirit.
Donaldson said: “We were really disappointed and made some crucial errors. It was a game that we should have won and felt that the bonus try was well deserved. Our performance was a big improvement [from the draw with Edinburgh Accies] and I am sure we will be right up there challenging.”
Melrose have struggled to find a pattern with the arrival of several new players, but it was full back Fraser Thomson, released by Glasgow Warriors, who sparked his side’s recovery. He raced away for his side’s opening try, laid on a score for Skeen and was a constant threat with his direct running and pace. Thomson said: “We knew that the game would be really tough and it was good to get the victory but we have things to work on. It is always good to get a try, and we are looking to win the title for the third time in three years but everyone wants to beat us.”
Currie turned round 7-3 ahead despite referee David Changleng disallowing a Bruce Colvine try on the advice of the touch judge. An Adam Hinds penalty and his conversion of Richard Sneddon were countered by Richard Mill’s penalty. That was stretched to 14-6 with a Simeon James try, converted by Hinds, following Mill’s second penalty, before the Melrose try spree, started by Thomson, gave the home side their second win of the season.
Melrose: F Thomson; G White, N McGrath, R Mill, J Helps; A Skeen, B Colvine; N Little, W Mitchell, G Holborn, R Ovens, R Miller, J Dalziel, G Runciman, A Nagle. Replacements: A Walker, C Keen, P Eccles, S McCormick, J Murray.
Currie: A Hinds; L Craycott, J Johnston, S James, A Whittingham; A Binikos, R Sneddon; A Hamilton, R Merrilees, F Watt, S Marcel, G Temple, M Cairns, M Peacock, R Weston. Replacements: W Emslie, J Cox, A Adams, M Entwhistle, J Deehan.