Gala FDR Amateurs3
West Barns Star0
On the eve of the start of World War I, Gala Fairydean won the Border Cup, and 100 years on another Gala side claimed the trophy in underfoot conditions comparable to the Battle of the Somme.
Despite Greenlaw’s WS Happer Park being turned into a quagmire due to heavy rain throughout the week, Gala’s current side were worthy winners thanks to a passing game which defied the conditions.
“It was lucky I only looked at the pitch from a distance when we arrived, as I never realised how muddy it was,” joked Gala manager Grant Davidson, when asked if he considered changing his game plan due to the pitch.
“We played well and managed to pass the ball, which was pleasing. I am delighted with the response from our defeat in the league to Leithen Rovers the previous week.”
It was Davidson’s assistant Des Sutherland who bagged all three Gala goals against cup holders West Barns Star.
However, he was assisted by a dominant showing by his team’s central midfield trio.
Brad Lochrie was commanding in front of his defence, Star were unable to cope with Andy Hardie’s passing and movement as he kickstarted a series of Gala attacks, while captain Jay Wilson provided Sutherland with plenty support.
But Gala could have been behind within 60 seconds, as Bryan Lugton missed an excellent chance for the Dunbar team.
But the Braw Lads claimed the vital first goal on 16 minutes as Scott Nightingale’s perfect pass set up Wilson, whose shot from the byline evaded West Barns goalkeeper Andrew Thorburn, allowing Sutherland to tap in from inches out.
Fairydean Rovers were well on top at this stage, but needed a second goal to reflect their dominance and it came on 25 minutes as Andy Hardie’s excellent cross was nodded in by Sutherland.
And the cup tie should have been over before the break when beanpole defender Marc Gardiner slipped on the treacherous surface to leave Sutherland one on one with Thorburn, only for the ex-Selkirk striker to somehow blast over. West Barns were almost back in the final just a minute after the break, but Craig Smith failed to force Gala No 1 Jamie Shiel into a save from a great position.
Heavy rain on an already sodden pitch meant the second half became a battle but Gala made it 3-0 seven minutes from time as another slip, this time by Thorburn, allowed Sutherland to latch onto Andy Hardie’s through ball and find the net via the left hand post.
The victory gives Gala Fairydean Rovers its first trophy since the club was formed last year following Rovers and Fairydean’s amalgamation.
“Hopefully it is the first of many,” added Davidson.
Gala Fairydean Rovers Amateurs: J. Shiel, A. Reilly, W. Curran, S. Harkness, C. Jeffrey, B. Lochrie, S. Nightingale (L. Wallace 62), J. Wilson, D. Sutherland, A. Hardie, S. Hardie (R. Clapperton 83).