Well worth the wait for champions Melrose

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.  Word gets around that Gala are loosing.

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. Word gets around that Gala are loosing.

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Joe Helps on his knees passes the ball.

Joe Helps on his knees passes the ball.

Silence descended over the Greenyards on Saturday as John Dalziel, his team, club officials and a large turnout of supporters waited for the result from Netherdale.

Following a relatively comfortable victory over Currie the Melrose players and their support team huddled together while the closing minutes of the Gala v Ayr match were aired over the tannoy system.

The wait was excruciating for the black and gold clad stalwarts.

But well worth it as the whistle blew at Netherdale with Gala ending their campaign just a single point away from gaining the title.

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. Coach John Dalziel and his team have an anxious wait to hear if his team has won the title.

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. Coach John Dalziel and his team have an anxious wait to hear if his team has won the title.

As his men celebrated Dalziel took time to pay tribute to his Championship rivals: “I really feel for George and his team,” he told TheSouthern.

“They have players over there that have put there lives and souls into this championship and had they won today they would have thoroughly deserved it.

“However we went out focussed and did exactly what we had to do and I can’t praise our lads enough for the effort they have put in throughout the season. They too, deserve that trophy.”

Despite winning by a sizeable margin Melrose didn’t have it all their own way as Currie looked to do some party spoiling of their own and the match itself was a somewhat stuffy affair.

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. Coach John Dalziel and his team have an anxious wait to hear if his team has won the title.

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. Coach John Dalziel and his team have an anxious wait to hear if his team has won the title.

Joe Helps and George Horne swapped penalties in the opening stages but neither seemed able to make the vital breakthrough.

As the game approached the half hour mark Melrose edged ahead through a Helps penalty before Currie took a turn at piling on the pressure. Melrose held firm however and cleared the danger.

Into firts half injury time and Melrose turned up the tempo desperate to go into the break with a healthy lead. And they did just that when Bruce Colvine nipped in near the post for Helps to convert to gain a 16-3 half-time advantage.

Another lengthy spell of stalemate after the restart ended with the yellow carding of Currie’s Mike Vernal and Melrose took the initiative once more with Helps kicking his fourth penalty of the game. A scrum just inside the Melrose half provided the basis for the next try as Damien Hoyland was fed the ball and danced his way all the way to the Currie line to touch down. Helps converted.

Now 23 points ahead all looked good for the hosts and, despite a late touch down by Currie’s John Cox, converted by Horne, Melrose achieved the win they so desperately wanted.

All that was left to do was wait.....