Instead, Chieftains will travel to Goldenacre for that showdown after Heriot’s took all five league points from their trip to face Hawick. Combined with a superior points difference, that was enough for Heriot’s to claim second spot and with it, home advantage.
“You never know, Melrose might go to Ayr and win and if we can beat Heriot’s, we could have another game here. But that’s not in our hands,” said Cairns. “What is in our hands is a massive match against Heriot’s.”
Chieftains were 19-5 winners over a gutsy Edinburgh Accies side, but a combination of poor conditions, lack of composure in the opposition 22 and a solid Accies defence limited the hosts to three tries.
Chieftains opened the scoring with a try by Scott McGinley, converted by Gregor Hunter, who gave his side a 14-5 half time lead after responding to a Mungo Mason touchdown for Accies with a self-converted score.
The hosts battered the Accies defence throughout the second half but it was deep into injury time before Robbie Nelson claimed their third try.
Cairns conceded that the win felt almost like a defeat given the circumstances, but he insists his men will go into the Heriot’s clash with confidence.
The Goldenacre men led Hawick 8-5 at half time through a Craig Robertson try and a Ross Jones penalty. And they produced an impressive second-half effort that yielded a penalty try and a double for Jack McLean to secure the bonus point.
Boroughmuir signed off on a positive note when they squeezed home 14-12 against Melrose. Angus Runciman opened the scoring for Melrose but a try from Tom Wilson, converted by Gavin Parker saw ‘Muir lead 7-5 at half time. Patrick Anderson restored Melrose’s lead with a converted try, but a last minute score by Johnny Matthews was converted by Parker to snatch the win.
Watsonians trailed Ayr 7-0 at half-time, but tries from Andrew Chalmers, Duncan Ferguson and Sean Crombie secured a 22-12 win in Steve Lawrie’s final game in charge before moving to Edinburgh Rugby.