Melrose comfortably lifted the Booker Border League title last night at Poynder Park, Kelso, for the first time since 2011 with a 35-7 win over holders Gala in the final to add to their BT Cup win at Murrayfield on Saturday.
While Melrose had been in cup and league action over the past few weeks, Gala, who had won the trophy four times in the previous five seasons, had played mostly sevens since February.
The difference between the sides showed on the pitch as Melrose held sway up front and Gala offered little resistance despite a second-half recovery to stop their opponents adding to their total.
The contest was over in the first quarter. Two powerful forwards’ drives by the Melrose pack set the tone for the game. From the first, Jason Baggott scored in only three minutes, and five minutes later, Cameron Mackay was at the end of a second charge, his try converted by Craig Jackson.
Gala battled hard to make an impact, but could not stem the tide and Baggott intercepted inside his own half to touch down and add his second conversion.
Gary Robertson and Alan Emond came on for Gala, but Melrose continued to dominate. Six minutes from the interval, Grant Runciman added a fourth score and on the stroke of half-time, Iain Moody touched down from Fraser Thomson’s pass and Baggott converted both for a 35-0 interval lead.
Gala’s trouble intensified when Craig Robertson was yellow-carded, but Melrose failed to add to their lead. Murdo McAndrew came on at scrum-half with Bruce Colvine switching to the wing as Melrose rung the changes.
With so many changes to both sides play became disruptive and untidy and it became a game of many mistakes and few chances.
Gala gained a late consolation try from Paul Hendry and Gregor Hunter converted but the silverware belonged to Melrose.