Gloves are off for Waverley Cup No. 6

GALA and Melrose have been setting about each other on Boxing Day or thereabouts for many years – but there’s been an extra edge since season 2008-9, writes Laing Speirs.

It was then that the Waverley Cup was first played for, the handsome trophy presented by Sykes Ltd, sponsors of both teams. It was a fine start to a series of five games, some of which have kept the Christmas spirit going with sparkling running and memorable tries.

That first clash saw a big finish from Gala which brought them two tries, but it was far too late to catch a Melrose team which carried extra pace.

Melrose have come out on top in three of the five encounters, with one of Gala’s victories a year ago by 12-6.

The biggest win in the series was Melrose’s triumph in 2010-11 when they romped away with a 37-16 victory at Netherdale. The Greenyards side took Gala’s undefeated home record with a four tries-to-one victory in a fine display of rugby.

Today, the two teams knuckle down to do it all once more, this year at the Greenyards (kick-off 2pm).

One wouldn’t want to put money on the outcome.