Although the Goldenacre side trailed for much of the game, they finished powerfully, ensuring the win with a try by centre Cammy Ferguson in the last move of the match.
Melrose, who pipped Gala to the league title on a dramatic final day last season, had started poorly, slipping 10-0 behind in the opening quarter to a try by Heriot's captain Jack Turley and a penalty and conversion by scrum-half Graham Wilson. However, the champions rallied in front of their home crowd and struck back with tries from both centres, Austin Lockington and Andrew Nagle, as half-time loomed. Yet the match swung back Heriot's way a minute before the break, a scrum on the Melrose line earning the Edinburgh side a penalty try which was easily converted by Wilson for a 17-14 interval lead.
Melrose seemed to take control of things in the third quarter when openside flanker Ruaridh Knott delivered a quick brace of tries that put his side 28-17 ahead. However, Heriot's overtook them with touchdowns by Struan Cessford and Russell Nimmo.