Rugby: Accies are condemned to Premier B

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Edinburgh Accies produced a gutsy performance before losing 29-23 against champions Melrose in RBS Premier One, a result that means the Raeburn Place men will spend the second half of the season in Premier B.

Accies, whose points came through tries from Jamie Sole and Jake Knight, plus kicks by Ruaridh and Euan Bonner, led midway through the first half and were still in touch at the break when they trailed 17-13.

Accies will be joined in the fight for the two remaining division one places by Heriot’s and Stewart’s Melville, who were engaged in an intense Division Two derby against Watsonians at Myreside.

Having clicked into try scoring form away to Falkirk the previous Saturday, Watsonians continued with three more touchdowns. And they held off a late rally to emerge 30-28 winners and strengthen their claims for a play-off spot, as well as ending Stew/Mel’s unbeaten run.

A brace of scores from player/coach Marcus Di Rollo, and another by Dougie Brown plus a string of kicks from Brian Walls saw ’Sonians into a 30-11 lead. They occupy third spot in the table ahead of this weekend’s visit of Biggar in the final pre-split match.

Stew/Mel, who already had their promotion play-off place in the bag, also crossed the whitewash on three occasions, Matt Hannay, Mike Hanning and Richard Borthwick all touching down, while Hanning and recent arrival Kaide Whiting shared the kicking duties.

There was another close affair at Hawthornden, where Lasswade posted a 26-22 win against Haddington in Division Three.

The East Lothian men, who earned a narrow defeat bonus for their efforts, scored all of their points in the first half through tries from Dan Barber, Euan Herkes and Kyle Adam, plus two conversions and a penalty, to lead 22-15 at the break. But they were overhauled in the second half by a Lasswade side determined to halt a losing run. The hosts had scores from Nick Wood, James Elliot, Richard Borthwick and Russell Gladstone, plus a brace of penalties, as they secured all five league points to lie fourth in the table.