Currie Chieftains defeat Melrose at the Greenyards
In the penultimate Tennent’s Premiership card before the play-offs, Currie Chieftains travelled to the Greenyards to take on Melrose on a blustery afternoon in the Borders.
Currie were the early aggressors as they made several early breaks through the Melrose defence. A good take at the back of the line out led to their first score of the match, as Ben Robbins broke through a number of tackles to ground the ball beyond the whitewash.
The visitors then doubled their lead when a driving maul down the left threatened the line, with the ball being quickly recycled to the hands of Chris Davies to dive over. Gregor Hunter slotted both conversions from the same spot (0-14).
Melrose looked to haul themselves back in to the encounter, driving themselves towards the try line on several occasions towards the end of the half. Currie’s defence put on a resilient display making tackle after tackle to push their opponents back.
The sustained pressure would eventually prevail right on the stroke of half-time. The visitors took full advantage after Currie’s Mike Vernal found himself sin-binned for a no arms tackle. Neil Irvine-Hess was the man to touch down, with Craig Jackson slotting the extras to set up an intriguing second half (7-14).
Currie almost opened the second half scoring five minutes after the break, but a last-ditch tackle put Ben Robbins into touch to deny the try.
Melrose were then dealt a double blow, losing Neil Irvine-Hess who was forced off through injury and was soon followed by the influential Fraser Thomson, both of whom are due to be involved in Scotland Club XV Dalriada Cup campaign, starting on Friday.
Gregor Hunter’s boot extended the lead for the visitors in front of the posts.
Melrose then had a penalty of their own for a high tackle just inside the Currie 22, which Jackson duly slotted to bring them to within seven points.
However, Currie took control of the match with two quick tries to secure the points as the game entered the final stages.
The first coming through substitute Matthew Hooks, quickly followed by with another through a strong run by Vince Wright. Both conversions, again, were put though the posts by Hunter as he maintained his 100% kicking record for the day, registering 11 points for his side.
The Currie supporters greeted the full-time whistle with an almighty roar as their side put themselves in pole-position for a home play-off tie with a 10-31 win.
Heriot’s moved into third position in the table with a 35-14 win over capital rivals Boroughmuir at Goldenacre, leaping above Melrose, to put themselves to within a solitary point of Currie.
Edinburgh Academicals battled back at Raeburn Place after finding themselves 0-7 down at half-time against Watsonians - extinguishing the Myreside men’s chances of a play-off place – earning a 19-17 victory.
Ayr ensured they would secure home advantage in their Tennent’s Premiership play-off, topping the table after defeating Glasgow Hawks 36-10.
Elsewhere, there was a home win for Stirling County who defeated Hawick 25-12 at Bridgehaugh.
With one round of Tennent’s Premiership action remaining, the league will now take a break until the conclusion of the Guinness Six Nations.
Saturday 26 Jan 2019
Edinburgh Academical FC 19 - 14 Watsonians
Heriot's 35 - 14 Boroughmuir
Melrose RFC 10 - 31 Currie Chieftains
Stirling County RFC25 - 12 Hawick RFC
Ayr RFC 36 - 10 Glasgow Hawks RFC