THIS was billed as a combined RBS Borders Regional Cup and Borders league match but, with Melrose out of both competitions, the game at the Greenyards yesterday was all about preparation for next Saturday’s Premier A clash against Dundee HSFP at the same venue.
Equally important for Melrose was picking themselves up after three successive defeats and, in the end, that objective was achieved with a seven-try tally in a performance that was all about rehearsing key moves.
Peebles, too, were intent on achieving a testing work-out and, in scoring three tries in a performance skilfully orchestrated by their 18 year-old stand-off Greg Raeburn, the men from the Gytes gained confidence ahead of their Premiership meeting with Kelso at Poynder Park next Saturday.
Two tries by Allan Dodds and one by Chris Hardie and two conversions from Andrew Skeen gave Melrose a 19-8 interval advantage.
The gap widened in the second half with converted tries from Cammie Murray, Bruce Colvine , Graham Dodds, and Scott McCormick.
But Peebles, who added points on the board with a first-half try from Tawhiri Walsh and a penalty from Raeburn, finished strongly with converted tries from Martyn Clyde and Kenny Clyde to complete a good performance.
Dundee HSFP 19, Aberdeen 15
DUNDEE HIGH emerged as the hot favourites to top Section A of the RBS Regional Cup, beating derby rivals Aberdeen Grammar in a scrappy but exciting game.
After a long lay off both sides were not surprisingly rusty apart from hooker Simon Forrest who looked as though he had never been away. Forrest had a superb game leading his line with authority, hitting his line out jumpers with precision, in addition to scoring a try in each half. His final effort in 72 minutes enabled his side to snatch the honours having fallen behind 15-14 in 57 minutes while playing into the strong wind.
Aberdeen coach, Alex Duncan, said: “The disappointing thing is this is a game we could have and should have won.”
His Dundee counterpart Ian Rankin was delighted with the win which takes his side into the quarter finals. He said: “I am happy with the win but we have a lot of work to do before we play Melrose in the league”.
Aberdeen shocked the home side with a first-minute try from winger Arland Oag. Dundee fought back to tie the scores through Forrest before winger Jack Steele kicked two penalties to make it 11-5.
Stand-off Rob Aloe closed the gap to three points only for Cam Brown to make it 14-8. Aberdeen looked to have won the game when scrumhalf Morgan Ward nipped in under the posts for Aloe to make it 15-14 just on the hour.Man of the match Forrest then went over to win it.