A record crowd of 3,879 turned up on Sunday afternoon to watch the Border Reivers take on Cardiff Blues.
Sunday 8 January Celtic League
Despite a positive start from the Blues going through many phases and holding on to possession it was the Borders who scored first with a penalty from outside half Charlie Hore after an offside decision against the Blues pack. The Borders soon scored again as they chipped ahead on the left wing, young Blues hooker Duane Goodfield was unlucky as he slipped turning to gather the ball and excellent inter passing between forwards and back saw Borders prop Tom McGee cross for a try converted by Hore.
The Blues soon fought back and nearly crossed for the try but Borders had drifted offside and Cardiff Blues outside half Nick Macleod kicked the penalty to get the first score for the Blues. Despite the Blues winning a lot of possession and playing most of the rugby in the Borders half they failed to capitalise on the territory and it was Borders who nearly scored prevented only by a last ditch tackle by winger Chris Czekaj.
Hore however kicked another penalty and the troubles mounted for the Blues when Borders once again came close to scoring and this time it was full back Craig Morgans tackle that prevented the try. The home team didnt have to wait long with scrum half Chirs Cussiter looking dangerous in attack and they were once again awarded a penalty converted by Hore, to bring the score at half time Borders 16 Cardiff Blues 3
CARDIFF BLUES 3
The Blues started the second half well and once again drove in to the Borders half which eventually resulted in two penalties kicked by Macleod to bring the score to 16-9. Cardiff Blues had the momentum now and they came close to scoring in the 65th minute when the ball went wide to the right and centre Mark Stcherbina nearly scoring in the corner. The resulting line out saw the Blues drive close to the Borders try line but Borders eventually cleared their lines and halt the Cardiff attack. Despite the good work by the Cardiff team it was Borders who got the next score.
The home side were awarded a scrum inside the Blues 22 and winger Danielli made a break through the centre before passing to Nicki Walker to score, converted once again by Hore. With a further penalty to Borders the game seemed to be beyond the reach of the Cardiff Blues, however they showed great character a move from the scrum saw centre Mark stcherbina burst through the defence to score under the posts, converted by Macleod.
Within minutes the Blues were on the scoreboard again when they broke up field in to the Borders 22, from the resulting Scrum the ball was kept tight in the forwards and lock Craig Quinnell crossed to score the try that Macleod converted. Despite the Blues being in the ascendancy and scoring two tries in the last ten minutes of the game they were eventually beaten by the referees whistle as he blew up with the score Borders 26 Blues 23.