A try three minutes from time won the BT Cup for Melrose as they gained revenge on Ayr at BT Murrayfield.
Seven days previously Ayr had won the BT Premiership final against Melrose, but the tables were turned.
Ayr got off to the best possible start when they opened the scoring after less than a minute.
The ball was shipped wide by the Millbrae men and winger Danny McCluskey was the man to touch down. Stand-off Frazier Climo missed the conversion.
Just before the first quarter of the match was up, Melrose got on level terms when their back-row Grant Runciman went over for a try from cloe range. Stand-off Jason Baggott missed the conversion.
Before the interval the score progressed to 8-8, Baggott and then Climo kicking penalties for their respective sides.
Four minutes into the second period another penalty by Baggott edged Melrose ahead 11-8, but then came 10 points from Ayr.
In the 50th minute a superb break and lovely inside pass by scrum-half David Armstrong put back-row Will Bordill in for a try from some 20 metres out. Climo converted.
And just after the hour mark another Climo penalty made it 18-11 to the men from the west.
This Melrose side are made of stern stuff though and in the 68th minute a try by winger George Taylor, set-up by replacement scrum-half Murdo McAndrew, made it 18-16. Centre Craig Jackson’s conversion then tied things up at 18-18.
Both sides threw everything at it in the closing stages, but with three minutes to go Melrose found a way through when they spun the ball out wide and centre Nyle Godsmark went over.
The conversion was missed, but it was 23-18 to the men from the Borders and they held on to lift the trophy.
— Kieran Collins (@Keybobs1) April 22, 2017
In the BT Shield, Carrick won for the second year in a row with a 41-28 victory over Murrayfield Wanderer while Ali Bain, the winger, scored a hat-trick as Portobello defeated Blairgowrie to lift the BT Bowl 33-23.
Thanks to Scottish Rugby/SNS for the photo
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