On a dreich Boxing Day afternoon, when the rain never stopped, two old rivals put up a stirring display of non-stop rugby at the Greenyards.
Having ran onto the pitch to the music of Star Wars (perhaps hoping the Force would be with them) Melrose did indeed put the Gala line under siege ending with Neil Irvine-Hess driving over for the first try, converted by Joe Helps, after five minutes.
Gala were not easily deterred and applied some pressure of their own in the ensuing quarter hour with David O’Hagan slotting the first of his four penalties.
Not yet half time and things were getting darker by the minute. Gala appeared to deal with the gloom better and two more O’Hagan penalties saw the visitors go in at the break with a 9-7 lead.
With the Greenyards cutting up badly it was unsurprising that handling errors were prevalent after the restart with both teams struggling to keep hold of the ball.
A drop goal from Jason Baggot put Melrose back into a lead which was very short lived as O’Hagan replied with his fourth three-pointer of the match.
With just under 10 minutes remaining replacement Matt Carryer made an instant impact by barging over the line to ensure the Waverley Cup went back to Netherdale.