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Highland maintain unbeaten record in Inverness with hard fought victory over Melrose

By Will Clark

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National One

Highland 17

Melrose 11

Callum Carson scored Highland's opening try. Picture: Callum Mackay
Callum Carson scored Highland's opening try. Picture: Callum Mackay

HIGHLAND maintained their 100 per cent winning record at home this season in National One when they recorded a hard fought victory over Melrose at Canal Park.

Atrocious conditions eliminated the chance of a passing game as both teams relied on the performance of their forwards during the 80 minutes.

The Inverness club broke the deadlock after 14 minutes when number eight Callum Carson crashed over the line with Scott Fraser converting to give them a 7-0 lead.

Melrose reduced the deficit to four points just before half time when Struan Hutchison scored a penalty to make it 7-3 at the break.

Highland were awarded a penalty try on the hour mark to extend their advantage to 11 points and with Melrose having two men sinned bin, the advantage was in the hosts' favour to kill the game off.

But the Borders outfit held firm and managed to score an unconverted try in the closing stages to set up a tense finish.

Highland soared up the pitch from kick-off and were awarded a penalty with Fraser converted to put the game beyond Melrose's reach at 17-8.

But the visitors were awarded a penalty in the last action of the game, with Hutchison successful to ensure Melrose left Inverness with a bonus point.

Highland head coach Dave Carson was just pleased to pick up the win in testing weather conditions.

"We knew that it was going to be a tough game and 7-3 at half time showed that," he said.

"The second half was hard, but the main thing was we backed up the good win at Biggar last week.

"It was the same for both teams, we wanted to throw the ball about, but it was difficult due to the weather.

"Both teams tried to do that but you take the win and move on."

Highland remain in second place and are six points behind leaders Ayr who won 28-14 at Gala.

The only other game in National One saw Dundee beat GHK 24-16.

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