Super Saturday brings success for Borders clubs

Melrose are Scottish club rugby champs after beating Currie 26-10 at the Greenyards and Gala were narrowly beaten 34-33 by Ayr at Netherdale.
Melrose are Scottish club rugby champs after beating Currie 26-10 at the Greenyards and Gala were narrowly beaten 34-33 by Ayr at Netherdale.

No matter which way you look at it, last Saturday proved a great day for Borders rugby, with three teams winning their respective leagues and Hawick maintaining Premiership status.

And for a battle-weary Melrose team, taking possession of the 2013/14 RBS Premiership trophy was just reward for a courageous 18-match campaign in which they managed to notch 15 victories.

Head coach John Dalziel, who has finished his first full season in charge at the Greenyards, told TheSouthern: “It has been very emotional. The whole season has been a bit of a roller coaster, but all the way through we were confident that we could win it and the boys stuck to that task and did exactly what they had to do.”

At the start of the day Gala led the Scottish Premiership table by two points, but by the finish they were one point short of Melrose after losing at home to Ayr 34-33.

Three miles down the road, Melrose ripped up Currie’s eight-game unbeaten run in the league and dominated the match with a clinical 26-10 win – it was enough to give them their third Scottish title in just four years.

Somewhere in the middle of all that sat SRU president Donald Macleod. Quite literally.

Dr Macleod, a former Selkirk RFC president, was entrusted with the silverware of which he had the job of presenting to the successful team and spent the last 15 minutes of the games sitting at Herges on the Loch listening in on his car radio.

He told us: “It was quite a day, and really exciting. As well as having two teams battling for the championship of course, Jed-Forest won their league, Selkirk Stormers theirs and Hawick kept themselves up in the Premiership.

“A great day for the Borders all round, I would say.”

With their dreams of winning a first league title in 31 years now just a distant memory, Gala will be looking to pick themselves up again on Saturday when Glasgow Hawks swoop on Netherdale (3pm) for the RBS Scottish Cup semi-final.

Elsewhere, Hawick rugby supporters are in for a treat when American 7s star Carlin Isles, who has recently signed for Glasgow Warriors, will make a guest appearance for Ayr when the Millbrae outfit travel to Mansfield Park for the final league game of this campaign.

The superstar, who has been clocked at a wind-assisted 10.13 for the 100 metres (10.24 legal personal best), made his rugby debut just two years ago and set alight the IRB World 7s circuit.

Peebles and Selkirk have a Border League fixture at The Gytes tomorrow (Friday) at 7.30pm, while, next Wednesday, Gala take on Jed-Forest in the same competition on the 3G pitch at Netherdale.