Melrose 43 Gala 18

David Morrison at The Greenyards

MELROSE got their hands back on the Waverley Cup following a thrilling Boxing Day clash with Gala at the Greenyards.

The large crowd were treated to a nine-try match with both teams throwing the ball around at every opportunity.

Ultimately Melrose showed their class in the second half to put themselves in a comanding position.

But the Maroons stuck to their game plan and never gave up.

Gregor Hunter had kicked the visitors into an early lead.

But Melrose quickly took control with a terrific break from Bruce Colvine allowing Craig Jackson to dart over for the opening try.

Jackson's conversion gave Rose a 7-3 advantage.

Another Hunter penalty kept Gala in contention.

But just before half time Melrose muscled their way to a 12-6 advantage with Bruce Runciman emerging at the bottom of a driving maul.

There had been little between the teams during most of the opening 40 minutes.

Melrose stepped up the pace after the interval and they were rewarded with two quick tries.

Ruaridh Knot burst through three tackles to allow Ross McCann to go over in the corner.

And a quick penalty saw Runciman charge through the gaps for another score.

Jackson's conversion gave Rose a commanding 24-6 lead.

Richard Ferguson started and finished a move for another try to open the advantage further going into the final quarter.

Gala did respond with their own score from Alan Emond.

And Hunter's conversion reduced the deficit to 29-13.

But the Gala line was crossed again a few minutes later as McCann nipped in for his second score of the afternoon.

Adam Hall's burst in the 84th minute sent Adam Hall over for another home try.

Jackson's conversion's took the home tally to 43.

Gala claimed their second try of the match in the final minute with Simon Fairburn going in at the corner.

Melrose. B Colvine, T Klein, N Godsmark, G Taylor, G Wood, C Jackson, S Hutchison, C Crookshank, R Ferguson, R Mcleod, A Runciman, A Grieve, R Knott, G Runciman & R Campbell. Reps T Pearce, J Dobie, B McLean, M Klein, R McCann, L Mallin, A Hall, C Fairbairn & T Brown.

Gala. G Speirs, S Fairburn, J Turnbull, A Emond, C Jordan, G Hunter, L Johnston, M Christie, C Keen, T Logan, C Weir, R Tod, M Faught, S Wilkinson & S Cairns. Reps J Chambers, B Reavely, R Irvine, J Watson, E Gunter & F Hunter.