Edinburgh Reivers ... 24

Glasgow Caley Reds . 32

Glasgow Caledonian Reds clinched top seeding for next season's Heineken European Cup with a brave performance in awkward conditions at Jedburgh's Riverside Park last night.

However, it was not without cost as flanker Roland Reid was stretchered off, while Scotland No.8 Gordon Simpson and Scotland A lock Stewart Campbell both limped off the field.

Simpson injured a hip in midweek and aggravated it near the end, but is expected to be fine.

However, there was less good news of Simpson's team-mate Roland Reid, who was taken to hospital with a neck compression problem that requires an X-ray.

Reivers' captain Carl Hogg also failed to last the 80 minutes, picking up a shoulder knock in what was a rugged encounter.

Fighting back from a half-time deficit, the Reds were helped by some sympathetic refereeing which allowed their stand-off Tommy Hayes, ironically the only non-Scottish qualified player afield, to boot over nine penalties.

For the Reivers, there was some consolation to be taken from winning the try count 2-1 and, having been soundly beaten 47-10 at Hughenden in the first match of the Tri-Series last month, their coach, Bob Easson, was entitled to take considerable satisfaction from the game.

''I am very proud of their performance, but we are disappointed that we didn't get more from the rugby that we played,'' he said.

''We have moved on a lot in the last three or four weeks, but there is still a lot more to do.''

It was, though, the Reds who ground out the win and their assistant coach Gordon MacPherson was content with that.

''That is one mini goal that we have achieved this year, but now we have to take the same sort of away form into our remaining league matches in Wales,'' he said.

''We are delighted with the way we came back so strongly after a scrappy first half. The Reivers came at us strongly, but we expected that, and sometimes you have to graft out a win.''

He also singled out the performances of their two points scorers for special mention - Tommy Hayes having kicked particularly well, while James Craig looked surprisingly sharp after six weeks out.

Certainly the winger's performance must have been particularly encouraging for watching Scotland coach Ian McGeechan as he showed a real appetite for involvement on what might have been a difficult evening for a pace man making a comeback.

His break off a clever flick pass by his captain Andy Nicol was the highlight of the Reds' first-half effort when they were very much under the cosh.

Only Hayes' boot kept them in it as, with wind and rain at their backs, the Reivers dominated territorially. Duncan Hodge was keeping the visitors pinned back with intelligent kicking from hand, although over the 80 minutes, he was less reliable in his goal-kicking than his opposite number.

That it was going to be a very different match from last month's was signalled from the outset, though, Hogg leading his men forcefully.

They particularly held the upper hand in the set-piece and it was stolen lineout ball by Iain Fullarton midway inside the Reds half which set up the game's first try.

With the Reds defence flat-footed, Jason Hita made the break and Derrick Lee came in off the left wing to be driven over the line by Graham Dall.

The remainder of the first quarter was a goal-kicking battle, with Hayes having the better of things, putting over three penalties to Hodge's one as the Reds claimed a rather undeserved lead.

However, the visitors were made to pay heavily for flanker Donnie Macfadyen's indiscretion in breaking early from a scrum just inside Reivers territory.

Hodge booted the ball down to within a couple of metres of the line and, after Fullarton's clean take, the inspirational Hogg was driven over.

Having faced the elements, though, the Reds were grateful to reach the sanctuary of the dressing room only six points behind, after Hayes and Hodge had exchanged further penalty strikes and they began the second period much more purposefully.

A brilliant forward drive from a lineout on their side of halfway took them almost to the Reivers 22-metre line and Craig was only just beaten to the ball as he chased Jon Stuart's clever chip in behind the defence.

As the pressure was maintained the chances came Hayes' way to level the scores and the match then ran away from the home side. First came the try which swung things the Reds way, ironically coming as an indirect result of yet another disrupted Reds scrummage deep in their own half.

Simpson picked up from the base, with Nicol and Jason White doing well to tidy things up before Stuart floated out a peach of a pass to Craig which put the winger clear on the left.

As Chris Paterson closed in on him, he still had plenty of work to do on entering Reivers territory, however, his footballing father would have been proud of the way he judged his kick and out-paced Kenny Milligan and Paterson to get to the ball as it crossed the line.

Moments later, Hogg left the field and yet another Hayes penalty established a two score cushion, which was extended after a further penalty exchange in the Reds favour, ahead of a frantic finish to the match.

That period was stretched by the length of time Reid had required for treatment, but while Hodge managed to reduce the deficit, his side could not quite get within range.

Edinburgh Reivers - C Paterson; K Milligan, J Hita, G Shiel, D Lee; D Hodge, G Burns; A Jacobsen, S Scott, B Stewart, A Lucking, I Fullarton, C Mather, G Dall, C Hogg (G Hayter 54min).

Glasgow Caledonian Reds - G Metcalfe; S Longstaff, A Bulloch, J Stuart, J Craig; T Hayes, A Nicol; D Hilton, G Scott, G McIlwham, S Campbell (M Waite 63), J White, R Reid (D Hall 65), D Macfadyen (J Petrie 28), G Simpson.

Referee: R Dickson (Madras FP).

Scoring sequence (Reivers first): 5-0, 5-3, 8-3, 8-6, 8-9, 15-9, 15-12, 18-12 (half-time); 18-15, 15-23, 15-26, 21-26, 21-29, 21-32, 24-32.

Scorers: Reivers: Tries - Lee (5), Hogg (24); Conversion - Hodge (24); Penalties -Hodge (12,40,51,77). Reds: Try - Craig (53); Penalties - Hayes (9,15,21,31,44,50,57,69,74).