Rugby Union: Chalmers stakes a timely claim

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The Independent Online
Heriot's FP. . .19

Melrose. . . . .37

CRAIG CHALMERS cannot have scored a more timely try than the one after 57 minutes which swung an enthralling match Melrose's way against Heriot's FP at Goldenacre. With Melrose clinging to an

18-16 lead, Chalmers spotted a gap, shrugged off the fringe defence, then thundered past a ruck and in between the posts.

In a single moment, Chalmers had staked a major claim for the club championship and confirmed to the selectors that they surely dare not drop him for the visit to Wales next week.

Heriot's contributed to a rollicking spectacle but could not cope without their international line-out jumper, Andy Macdonald, or their injured B internationals, Mike Allingham and Cameron Glasgow. Nor could they argue with a 1-5 try count. Melrose struck in 47 seconds when Chalmers probed the blind side and fed Gary Parker, whose insistence on wearing the 'lucky' No 14 jersey on the left wing has never looked more reasonable.

Heriot's hit back to lead briefly but Melrose enjoyed the quality possession, adding a try by Craig Joiner, bursting on to a ball five metres out before half- time, and opportunist forward scores by Carl Hogg and Steve Brotherstone after the authoritative Chalmers had rendered a fourth title in five years a virtual formality.

Heriot's FP: Try Gilmour; Conversion Hewitt; Penalties Hewitt 4. Melrose: Tries Parker, Joiner, Chalmers, Hogg, Brotherstone; Conversions Parker 3; Penalties Parker 2.

Heriot's FP: H Murray; H Gilmour, R Adam, A McRobbie, P Hewitt; K Whittaker, (G Lawrie, 40), A Watt; M Livingstone, K Milne, S Paul, P Young, P Meadows, S Elliot, G Simpson, G Dall.

Melrose: C Redpath; C Joiner, Ross, Brown, I Leighton; G Parker, C Chalmers; B Redpath, M Ross, S Brotherstone, R Craig, E Simpson, A Kerr, G Weir, C Hogg.

Referee: J Fleming (Boroughmuir).