Defeat of Heriot's edges Melrose towards league and cup double

Melrose took a step towards a league and cup double with an emphatic victory at The Greenyards to leave cup holders Heriot's clinging only to a possible top-four place.

Lewis Carmichael goes over for his try to strengthen Melroses grip on the game. Picture: SNS/SRU.
Lewis Carmichael goes over for his try to strengthen Melroses grip on the game. Picture: SNS/SRU.

The victory, achieved in a dominant first half which ended with the hosts leading 29-5 at the interval, earned plaudits from director of rugby, Mike Dalgetty.

“The first half was just about perfect. The second half was a lot closer and Heriot’s were always going to come back into the game with the changes we made,” he said.

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“That is a massive end of the season we have now. We have three big weeks here, including the Melrose Sevens, and it’s a huge congratulation to all our players. They are a great bunch of boys.”

Heriot’s coach Phil Smith was obviously disappointed, particularly after his side scored the opening try in six minutes through Michael Liness.

“We were outgunned in the first 25 minutes of the game. We were certainly outplayed, made a few errors, and 
Melrose were very clinical,” he said. “They did a lot of good things a lot of the time and, at half-time, our boys felt very low and felt that they had not done anything – and that’s not like them.

“To come out and have a big second half was great – fair play to them. They did win the second half, their effort levels were pretty good and showed that we have a bit more to offer the game. What we have to play for is out of our hands. The 
Currie-Boroughmuir match will determine everything and I would like the boys to have another shot.”

There was no indication of what was to follow when Liness drove over for the opening try – but Melrose’s opening try by Austin Lockington from a break by Fraser Thomson was quick and 
decisive, James Baggot converting.

Thomson was also 
instrumental in the second try two minutes later, collecting a clearance in his own half, splitting the 
Heriot’s defence, and sending Lockington over again.

Melrose continued to dominate as Heriot’s struggled to get into the match and a score from George Taylor, pictured, in 25 minutes and Lewis Carmichael’s from Taylor’s pass, Baggot converting both, and a Baggot penalty, sealed a semi-final place.

It was six minutes from the end before Junior Rasolea touched down and John Semple converted…but, despite a yellow card for Cameron MacKay, the hosts were in easy street.