This Tennent’s National 1 match was played on a dull, cold and wet afternoon, under floodlights, with the distant Eildons shrouded in mist. After four minutes, and on their first visit to the Melrose half, Gala capitalised with
Euan Dods squirming over for a try converted by Dean Keddie. At 16 minutes, from a ruck in the left corner, James Brown dived over for a try with Donald Crawford’s conversion from the touchline levelling the score. With 21 minutes played Thomas Brown, for an unseen offence, was yellow carded and as a result Keddie kicked a penalty. Dods scored his second try at 30 minutes, in similar fashion to his first, with Keddie adding the extras. The half ended with Gregor Lindsay, at 32 minutes, being sin-binned for a no arms tackle and Liam Scott, at 38 minutes, being binned for collapsing an attacking maul.
Half time – Gala 17 Melrose 7
Five minutes into the second half Jack Easson earned himself a yellow card for collapsing a maul. With ten minutes remaining a well-placed cross kick by Gala was retrieved by Andrew Mitchell who crossed for a try converted by Keddie. An assault on two players by an opponent, seen by the whole stand, was not seen by the referee and the assailant went unpunished. Such behaviour is not acceptable in the modern game.
Gala 24 Melrose 7
Gala – Ruairi Howarth, Fergus Johnson, Andrew Mitchell, Daniel Nicholson, John Turnbull, Dean Keddie, Lachlan Johnston, Kyle Scott, Jack Easson, Martin Christie, Robbie Irvine, John Watson, Josh Irvine, Liam Scott, Euan Dods. Replacements – Andrew Brown, Richie Tod, Jack Chambers, Angus Dun, Ben Gill.
Melrose – Keiran Clark, Ethan McVicker, Gary McWilliam, Christiaan Smit, James Brown, Donald Crawford, Douglas Crawford, John Cox, Richard Ferguson, Jack Dobie, Thomas Brown, Gregor Lindsay, Ben McLean, Callum Folan, Trystan Andrews. Replacements – Jake Fairley, Craig Fairbairn, Sean Fisher, Elliot Ruthven, David Colvine.
Referee – Tom French.