Too close for comfort in Premiership outing

An electrifying display of rugby saw Melrose beat Aberdeen Grammar 22-34 after the borders side secured the game in the last 10 minutes.

With the teams trading tries in quick succession, it came to a simple test of endurance to solve the stalemate in a pulsating finish which saw Melrose put in two late tries.Melrose's Andrew Nagel makes an offload

Melrose head coach, John Dalziel, said: “Aberdeen came into it massively in the second half, we knew they wouldn’t give up easily so I’m pleased we managed to pull it out of the bag.

“We knew very well that it would be in the first-half that they would come at us hard and they didn’t stop.

“We had a big long journey to overcome and it’s never easy, but the lads didn’t let us down.”

The first half saw the game making a quick start with Melrose quickly establishing control over the game with a try from Nicky Little. However Aberdeen quickly replied with lock Jamie Metcalfe fighting over the line for the home side’s first points of the match.

With both teams battling up front, it was Grammar winger Byron McGuigan that managed make the difference, scoring a try from an interception deep in his own half.

Before long, a penalty kick from Joe Helps and a converted try from Peter Eccles saw Melrose back in the lead in the dying minutes of the first half.  

HT 10-15

The second half saw similar themes as the teams continued to battle it out up front. A driving maul from the half-way line saw Melrose scrum-half Bruce Colvine score between the posts. Helps converted.

Grammar upped their game as their backs started to get more involved and before long, the dancing feet of Erlend Oag saw him score in the corner for Grammar.

They kept up the momentum, playing at a far higher level than their position at the bottom of the league would suggest, and quickly reaped the benefits as Sean O’Connor scored a further try. Stand-off Rob Aloe converted, putting the teams neck-and-neck.

This seemed enough to shock Melrose into action and an increased tempo saw Andrew Skeen put a further five points past the home side. Grammar appeared to still be in the game, with an animated crowd keeping them going, but an interception try from Joe Helps put their hopes to bed.

FT 22-34

Aberdeen Grammar team: Stevie Aitken; Erlend Oag, Harry Duthie, Greig Ryan (Captain), Byron McGuigan; Rob Aloe, Morgan Ward; Matt Dixon, Sam Bingham, Struan Cessford, Stuart Smith, Jamie Metcalfe, Ally Mackie, Tony McGinness and Tom Preece.

Replacements: Sean O’Connor, Matt Schosser, Calum Harvey, Will Wardlaw and Jamie Lauder

Melrose team: Austin Lockington; Callum Anderson, Alan Dodds, Joe Helps, Mark Robertson; Richard Mill, Bruce Colvine; Nicky Little, Todd Pearce (Captain), Nick Beavon, Lewis Carmichael, James Head, Peter Eccles, Grant Runciman and Andrew Nagel.

Replacements: Richard Ferguson, Gary Holborn, Graham Dodds, Struan Dewar and Andrew Skeen.

Referee: Andrew McMenemy