Dangerman Des sinks a straight eight

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PROLIFIC Gala goal scorer Des Sutherland hit the headlines of the social media sites last Saturday when he notched an amazing – and likely record breaking – eight goals during Gala Rovers’ 12-2 destruction of Scottish Widows in the Scottish Amateur Cup (see report on page 26).

What makes the achievement even more remarkable is that the local roofer, who celebrates his 27th birthday a week today, spent four days in the Intensive Care Unit at the Borders General Hospital just over two months ago after falling from a ladder in a work-related accident.

Sutherland told TheSouthern: “If it hadn’t been for a workmate breaking my fall in an attempt to catch me I may not have been alive.

“As it happens, I was extremely lucky and only suffered a dislocated hip. After the accident we thought I wouldn’t be able to play again, until after Christmas anyway, but after a spell in ITU, where I was monitored for internal injuries, I was given a clean bill of health.”

Last Saturday’s efforts brings Sutherland’s tally for the season to 30 goals, in eight games, and he is well on target to beat his previous seasons best of 52.

“I am just really enjoying my football at the moment and I think that tells on the pitch,” he added.

“The Rovers are a great team to play for and it’s thanks to them that I am able to score so much as there is always someone there to set me up. Everyone turns up for training and games early so that we can enjoy a laugh and a joke before we get started and there is a real feelgood factor within the whole club.”

This weekend Rovers play Glasgow outfit Ashvale Victoria in the third round of the national competition.

In the East of Scotland scene this weekend Hawick Royal Albert and Selkirk lock horns at Albert Park in a First Division dogfight.

Apart from Ross Brand being suspended, Albert manager Graeme Chadwick selects from a full squad, including new signings Paul Russell and Bobby Nwanze who returns to the club after a brief spell with Preston Athletic, while Selkirk have Jason Inglis and Euan Pritchard doubtful.

Talking of his side’s meeting with Peebles Rovers, Gala Fairydean manager Garry Fraser said: “Peebles are under new management and I believe a few new players have been signed. Apart from this I don’t know anything else about Peebles and just don’t know what to expect from them. We will be looking for a win though.”

Fairydean have Paul Sutherland and Ben McGregor out, while Craig Tyson is doubtful.

In yet another derby outing Kelso United tangle with Duns, while in the Premier Division, Vale of Leithen face Whitehill Welfare.