GALA secured home advantage for the Border 20/20 Cup final after completing the league phase of the competition unbeaten, following a 42-run win over Melrose at Huntlyburn.
Gala elected to bat first and were soon two down as Stevie Halls was run out after setting off for a quick single and being forced to turn back. Davie Boland then holed out with the score on 18.
This brought Andy McMenemy and Josh Irvine together, and the pair put on an excellent 76-run partnership in 11 overs before Irvine (29) was stumped with the score on 94. McMenemy followed soon after for 46.
The Gala scoring rate dropped dramatically as Neil Crooks and Graeme Ormiston struggled to get to grips with the conditions, but the final over of the innings resulted in 19 runs for the visitors and a challenging total of 132.
Melrose lost wickets early, with Colin Green edging to McMenemy in the gulley, Kyle Paisley running past an Ormiston delivery to be stumped and Barry Scott being trapped lbw, as Melrose slumped to 16 for 3. A good partnership between Ally Prabakar and Rory McLennan took the score to 49 before McLennan (9) skied to Ormiston at mid-wicket.
Crooks struck twice in his final over as Melrose fell to 58 for 6 with just four overs left.
Good hitting in those final four overs took the home side up to a respectable 90 for 8 at the close, but McMenemy had enough time to strike twice with the final balls of the match.
S. Halls, run out 9
D. Boland, c Prabakar b Loftus 4
A. McMenemy, b Murray 46
J. Irvine, st Green b Murray 29
N. Crooks, not out 21
G. Ormiston, not out 10
Total for 4 132
C. Green, c McMenemy b Ormiston 0
K. Paisley, st Millar b Ormiston 4
A. Prabakar, st Millar b Crooks 36
B. Scott, lbw b Paterson 1
R. McLennan, c Ormiston b Lawrie 9
S. Hosney, st Millar b McMenemy 25
R. Murray, st Millar b Crooks 0
C. Chisholm, b McMenemy 8
J. Loftus, not out 1
Total for 8 90