A ripe Borders derby between two exciting, enthusiastic sides

Ewan Gunter weaves about for Gala in their ill-fated encounter with Stewart's Melville (picture by Alwyn Johnston).
Ewan Gunter weaves about for Gala in their ill-fated encounter with Stewart's Melville (picture by Alwyn Johnston).

Two from the top four in BT National League Division One face each other this weekend as Jed-Forest host Gala in a very attractive clash.

Jed have captain Gregor Young back in the squad after injury and enjoyed a big victory at Falkirk last Saturday, racking up 10 tries in the process.

Gala, meanwhile, went down to their third straight league defeat, having won their opening six fixtures – and Saturday’s loss was particularly maddening, as they saw a 24-0 lead evaporate against Stewart’s Melville FP.

Director of rugby at Riverside Park, Ali Campbell, said Jed were really looking forward to it. “You can’t beat a local derby against Gala, and I think with them coming down from the Premiership, they will provide a really big, stiff test,” he said.

“And, as everyone knows at every Border club, the form book just flies out the window!”

Campbell added: “I don’t think we started the season particularly well – we’re on a slow burner, instead of starting with a bang like in previous seasons. We’re getting better every week but we are still leaking tries, and that is a worry for us.

“I hope the local support comes down from Jed and Gala, and even the neutrals. I am sure they’ll see two good rugby-playing teams wanting to play rugby.”

Gala skipper Graham Speirs said the Maroons were still at the right end of the table and looking forward to the game. “Both teams like to throw the ball around a bit and there’s a fair bit at stake for both sides,” he said.

Speirs said the 31-24 loss on Saturday had been “a tough one to take” after such a good start. There was a rare physicality in defence by Gala in the first half but they were too soft defensively in the second and possibly switched off. “It was certainly a mindset thing with us, as opposed to an ability thing,” he said – adding Stewart’s Melville deserved credit for buying into the clear shift in their game plan. Going into their next couple of games as underdogs may suit Gala, he added.

still good a god run of wins in a good poston early on break coming up how are you and the guys feelin now? I thk we are defeintly a bitr furstrated and just realy eager to get out on Satureday again, after letting ourselves down at the weekend. in terms of overall spotoispn position where we stand, we are still at the right end of the table and it was alwyas going to be a gb it of an unknown quantity plaing a lot of new teams and off back of two or threeporo seasons tring to ge a bit of coience among the sqyuad again so lookgniwhe we are w roiht end huge game this weeknd and quite posbuy for us going into the next couple of games as underdogs might work wuite qwell for us because it’s beens oemthing we have been used toin the past and pre season we perfoene quite well against Stiring and Hawick with that underdog tag agianst us It just gives the boys that bit of extra focus and maybe just what the doctor ordered fir us just to ahve a couple games as undergodg e maybe a bit less pressure and show what we can do

do you want a Nov break or want to keep paying match practic e ? I thnk it could beuiwt ebeneifelc to us not got a huge squad time off injurie sTevie Cairns picjed up inu CHirs Keen Scot WIlkingson bad head knocek a couple of weeks ago a reduced fixute list in NOv miht help

Jed oignw ell should be good game Borders derby ? Both teams like to throw th ball aroudn a bit both teams will be going in ocnfdiently godd towathc fair bit at stake for obth sides