Heriot’s FP 19
FIONA SCOTT reports from Goldenacre
AFTER taking two weeks out to play in the British & Irish Cup, Gala were back to league business last weekend.
After a stuttering start, they managed to secure a five-point victory to put them in a cracking position at the top end of the table with two games in hand.
It took the Maroons a while to settle into the game, but George Graham’s men showed their mettle in the middle section of the second half to run in a rapid try-tally which effectively sealed the game.
On the whole, coach Graham was a very happy man at full-time, which is more than can be said for his state of mind after the first 40 minutes.
“It was just their attitude,” he told TheSouthern.
“We scored a try within the first few minutes and then we took our foot off the gas.
“I gave them a bit of a talking to at half-time and they came out and showed what they are capable of doing.
“Playing in the British and Irish has definitely made a big difference. For that you need to be bigger, faster and stronger and it was a great learning experience for them.
“You have to be all this and more accurate in everything you do and in the second half today they went out and did that. When we do play at the tempo and pace that we can play at, then we are a very, very dangerous side.”
And so it looked as the game kicked off. After forcing their hosts back into their 22, Lee Millar went on a jinky run to the line to open the scoring in the fourth minute with an impressive try which he converted.
Anyone who thought a whitewash was on the cards, however, was mistaken.
Heriot’s rose to the challenge and after missing a penalty attempt Graham Wilson got his name on the scoreboard in the 12th minute when he converted a try from Max Learmonth.
Gala battled on without gaining much ground until, after much hard work from the pack, a drive to the line resulted in Craig Robertson grounding the ball.
Again, Heriot’s responded in kind. This time Struan Cessford ran in, with Wilson making the conversion to edge the hosts in front. The battle raged on at an alarming rate and Gala encamped themselves in the Heriot’s 22. Perseverance paid off and eventually the visitors were rewarded with a penalty which Millar banged over on the stroke of half time to edge Gala in front 15-14.
A spell of stalemate ensued for the first 15 minutes of the second half, with neither side willing to give an inch. The visitors were first to show a chink and Heriot’s were awarded a penalty which Wilson missed. Straight away, George Graham’s men looked to make amends and did so with a flourish.
Three tries in the space of seven minutes from George Graham, Gav Young and Robertson again, two of them converted by Millar, put the game out of sight.
Gala: A. McLean; G. Somerville, C. Auld, B. Turner, C. Robertson; L. Millar, George Graham; L. Pettie, R. Anderson, E. McQuillin. Gary Graham, O. Palepoi, C. Keddie, E. Dods, K. Mein. Subs: C. MacKintosh, T. Weir, S. Cairns, J. King, G. Young.