On their first match outside the Borders this season, Gala felt the despair of losing for the first time and, despite fighting to the end, came up short in the hunt for a try bonus.
With tries from scrum-half Paddy Boyer and full-back Jack Steele, Hawks led 17-7 at the break. In the second half, a touchdown by winger Robert Beattie was followed by a penalty try to ease Hawks further ahead. In the final ten minutes, counter-attack play brought further reward as centre Ally Maclay and winger Tom Steven dotted down.
The Gala tries came from their front-row men. Prop Luke Pettie scored in the first half, then hooker Mattie Carrier twice in the second with full-back Ruari Howarth kicking nine points.
The Maroons grabbed the first try, by prop Luke Pettie converted by Ruari Howart, but two tries in two minutes put Hawks on their way to a 17-7 half time lead
The the first came from scrum half Paddy Boyer, the second by full back Jack Steele. Second-half tries for Robert Beattie, Ally Maclay and Tom Steven, together with a penalty try, killed off Gala hopes despite two touchdowns from Matt Carrier.
On a day of narrow results elsewhere, Hawks’ first win of the season produced a 19-point margin and five of their six tries touched down by backs.
Not unsurprisingly, the man-of-the-match award went to stand-off Gregor Hunter, who is on loan from Glasgow Warriors as he seeks fitness after two seasons out with injury.
Hunter said: “I feel I’m getting back into it. Last week I was just finding my feet with 60 minutes. This week I really improved while getting through 80.”
But Gala coach George Graham said: “Our passing was woeful, the scrum was below par, the lineout never worked and tackling was poor – a lot to work on.”
Gala: R Howarth; G Speirs, D Burrows, A Emond, K Young; R Jeffries, G Graham; L Pettie, M Carrier, C Keen, C Borthwick, C Rawlinson, C Weir, L Scott, C Mein. Substitutes: R Todd, S Cairns, O