Watsonians look ahead to next season after narrow loss to Melrose

Watsonians Ewan Fox tries to break past Melrose's Craig Jackson and Jason Baggott. Pic: Neil Hanna
Watsonians Ewan Fox tries to break past Melrose's Craig Jackson and Jason Baggott. Pic: Neil Hanna
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Watsonians coach Steve Lawrie set aside the disappointment of Saturday’s BT Cup exit at home to Melrose, admitting that he is already looking ahead to next season and planning to be challenging for honours.

Sonians produced a performance brimming with character at Myreside as they pushed the Borderers all the way before bowing out 17-10.

Lawrie’s men, who had lost against the same opponents the previous week, ended strongly and had Melrose on the ropes for much of the last quarter, but failed to match the visitors for composure at key moments.

The visitors had tries from Ross McCann and Austin Lockington, both converted by Craig Jackson, before Jason Harries dotted down for the hosts and Ali Harris added the extras to leave Sonians 14-7 in arrears at the break.

A penalty apiece for Jackson and Harris was the only scoring of an intense second half in which the hosts failed to make the most of lengthy periods in the ascendancy.

“The boys came in at half time firmly believing they could win it. Our skill execution let us down in the second half,” said Lawrie, who credited his men for a more mature performance than they had delivered the previous Saturday.

And overall the coach is satisfied with the progress he has seen over the season, believing that if he can retain the services of key personnel, Sonians can be challengers next season.

“I think when we reflect honestly, the group has moved on massively. They finished sixth last year but they were gapped by the top four or five,” Lawrie added. “We have bridged that gap and if we can have a good pre-season and start how we finished, you’re in the mix right away. For our first year, I think we will say we’ve done OK.”

There was no change at the top of BT National Division one, where the title contenders both took all five league points from their latest outings to share top spot with two matches left to play.

Skipper Jamie Sole had two tries for Edinburgh Accies and there was one apiece for Martin McGinley, Callum Black and Robert Davis, while Will Stephen booted four conversions as the Raeburn Place men posted a 33-7 win over Cartha Queen’s Park that keeps them level at the summit with Jedforest, who took a bonus point from their win over Gala.