Hampden clearance for 3G pitch clears way for Gala football clash with Preston Athletic

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GALA Fairydean will at last open the new 3G pitch at Netherdale, with confirmation from the Scottish Football Association today (Thursday) that the artificial surface is fit to play on, writes Kenny Paterson.

The go-ahead from Hampden means the Fairies will host Preston Athletic in the King Cup this Saturday, with a 2pm kick off.

The £950,000 state-of-the-art pitch was due to be opened in mid-November by Galashiels’ sporting legends John Collins and Gregor Townsend but wet weather meant the sand and rubber could not be added to the synthetic grass.

The Dean have been forced to play every match away from home while waiting for the surface to be completed.

And rugby and football clubs from across the town, who had booked up to use the 3G pitch, have been forced to scramble around for suitable training venues, as workmen have tried to complete the project between rain and snow.

•Read a full report on the first game on the 3G pitch, as well as video footage of the opening, in next week’s Southern.