Boroughmuir ensured the RBS Premiership title race will go to the last day when they pushed Melrose to the wire in an engrossing encounter at Meggetland last night before the Borderers prevailed 23-13.
While there was nothing at stake for the Capital men, a desire to prevent the silverware being handed over on their patch was enough.
Home supporters in the bumper Meggetland crowd thought they had inflicted an early blow when Sep Visser – watched by his family who had flown in from the Netherlands – darted onto a chip through by Ally Warnock. But the Dutchman had drifted in front of the kicker and the score was chalked off. The Borderers then edged ahead through a well-struck penalty by Andrew Skeen. However, ‘Muir enjoyed the territorial advantage and they deservedly took the lead in 20 minutes when Redha Guedroudj raced onto a defence-splitting kick by Stevie Wilson to touch down.
Then came a potentially game-changing moment when Visser dodged his way over for an outstanding try. However, after an intervention from the touch judge, the referee disallowed the try and red-carded Jonny Latta for punching.
‘Muir ended the half strongly but failed to add to their tally, and the Borderers trimmed the deficit when Skeen slotted a penalty after the restart. However, ‘Muir continued to show the greater enterprise and their efforts yielded three penalties. Warnock was off target with one of that trio but two strikes created a seven-point gap entering the final ten minutes.
The tone was ratcheted up another notch when Scott Wight slotted a penalty. Melrose raised the pace and Nick McGrath crashed over for a converted try. Then with their noses in front, the visitors turned on the style and added a further converted score by Fraser Thomson.
Scorers: Boroughmuir: Try: Guedroudj. Conversion: Warnock. Penalties:Warnock (2). Melrose: Tries: McGrath, Thomson. Cons: Wight (2). Pens: Skeen (2), Wight.
Boroughmuir: K Buchan, S Visser, M Clapperton. S Wilson, R Guedrouj, A Warnock, S Johnson, N Fraser, G Jones, J Latta, G Scott, A Davidson, J Swanson, A Henderson, N Rodger. Subs used: C Mackintosh, R Wilson, I Moody
Melrose: F Thomson, A Dodds, B Dick, C Murray, J Helps, A Skeen, B Colvine, N Beavon, R Ferguson, G Holborn, P Eccles, R Miller, R Ovens, G Runciman, G Dodds. Subs Used: N McGrath, C Keen, S McCormick, S Wight.;