TWO teams who finished at polar opposite ends of the BT Premiership will meet at Poynder Park in Kelso in the Border League Final tonight [Wednesday – kick-off: 7.30pm].
Melrose topped the league table during the regular season, but were pipped at the post by Ayr in the play-off Grand Final at The Greenyards 11 days ago. They made partial amends for that disappointment by beating the same opposition in the BT Cup Final on Saturday, and will certainly come into this match fully battle-hardened having played so much high intensity rugby in recent weeks. Of course, the flip side of that coin is that there is bound to be a degree of physical and psychological fatigue within the squad, and head coach Rob Chrystie has warned yesterday afternoon that the team named below could easily be subject to change once the full fall-out from the weekend had been properly assessed at training last night.
Gala, on the other hand, finished bottom of the BT Premiership and are now getting used to the idea of life outside the top flight next season. They will be desperate to finish a disappointing season on a high and, having not played a competitive match since losing 53-29 to Glasgow Hawks in the Cup at the end of March, they should certainly be fresh for the challenge – whether that also means they will be slightly rusty remains to be seen.
Melrose: F Thomson; D Colvine, N Godmsark, G Taylor, G Wood; J Baggott, B Colvine©; D Elkington, C McKay, R McLeod, A Welsh, A Grieve, R Knott, G Runciman, I Moody. Subs: R Anderson, C Crookshanks, R Campbell, N Irvine-Hess, M McAndrew, C Jackson, T Klein.
Gala: G Spears©; P Hendry, D Burrows, G Mein, C Robertson; G Hunter, S Fairbairn; C Keen, D Broker, T Skeet, S Johnstone, C Weir, G Adams, S Wilkinson, S Cairns. Subs: C Reynolds, G Robertson, R Louw, R Tod, L Johnstone, A Emond, A Turner.