GALA end season with Border League victory

Gala 37 Hawick 20

BORDER LEAGUE FINAL

GALA RFC topped off a fantastic season last night (Wednesday) by lifting the Booker Border League trophy for the first time since 2005.

Weary from their weekend’s exertions, which saw the lift the RBS Scottish Cup, George Grahams men mustered all the reserves they had left to see off old rivals Hawick in the last XV aside game of the season.

It was Hawick who took the early initiative and were rewarded on the ninth minute when Neil Renwick seared in round the back of the posts and converted the try himself.

Gala closed the gap through a Lee Millar penalty but still the cup winners looked to be on the back foot as Hawick continuously pegged them back into their own 22. Renwick slotted a long range penalty to stretch the lead further but to Gala it was like a red rag to a bull. Craig Robertson found himself with the ball about five metres from his own try line and scorched a path down the side line and then across the field, brushing off several Hawick defenders before being stopped just five metres from the Hawick line. Picking up the momentum his team backed him up and minutes later Hooker Russell Anderson went over from close range to notch Gala’s first try. Millar converted and suddenly the scores were all square.

Now with their tails up Gala won another penalty which they opted to kick to touch and with the front row having a big impact on proceedings Anderson again was trawled over the line. Millar added the conversion before adding the extras to his own try minutes later following a jinky wee run to the posts. Half time score 24-13.

Once again Hawick looked the better of the two teams at the start of the second half. A penalty in their own 22 was kicked to touch and the ball moved downfield until Gary Johnstone got hold of it and sprinted around the Gala defence to touch down. Renwick converted to leave only four points separating the two teams.

Backchat from Hawick following a penalty award allowed Millar to bang over his second penalty and added a third three minutes later for a scrum offence. Two minutes later came another penalty chance, same offence, but Millar’s brave attempt from inside his own half bounced off the posts. All was not in vain though as the recycled ball was sent to Robertson who got the try he had been trying so hard for throughout the game. Millar converted and with 10 minutes remaining coach Graham let on the rest of his subs and the fresh legs kept the scoreline static until the final whistle.

Gala: A. McLean; F. Hunter, B. Turner, A. Emond, C. Robertson; L. Millar, George Graham; L. Pettie, R. Anderson, E. McQuillin, C. Weir, O. Palepoi, Gary Graham, E. Dods, G. Lowrie. Subs: P. Stewart, C. Keddie, S. Cairns, C. Dods, D. Marshall, C. Borthwick, R. Livingstone.

Hawick: N. Renwick; N. McColm, G. Hogg, G. Johnstone, C. Russell; R. Hutton, G. Cottrell; S. Muir, L. Gibson, S. Linton, M. Robertson, C. Smith, N. Mactaggart, B. McNeil, K. Davies. Subs: R. Sutherland, M. Landels, H. Scammell, R. Hogg, G. Anderson, L. Lawrence, G. Douglas.