Selkirk ended their duck in the Premiership with a well-deserved win at Netherdale, sealing the points with a late Rory Banks penalty which came after Gala had clawed back the deficit to one point.
Gala came onto the pitch already ravaged by injuries. Rob Louw pulled out late injured, with Chris Weir moving to 6, Opeta Palepoi coming off the bench to replace at 5 and Scott Chapman going on to the bench.
Gala coach George Graham said that although the injuries were a factor of his team’s recent poor run of form, the players that are on the park should be doing a better job.
He said: “Our decision-making is poor and our line-out is not functioning at all.
“Losing has become a habit and it’s a habit we have to break.”
Neither side could create openings until Selkirk’s Darren Clapperton scored in 12 minutes, running in from a break by Ross Nixon. Jack Cuthbert converted for a 7-0 lead.
After this, it was again very close for the majority of the first half.
Selkirk scrum half Mikey Davies was shown a yellow card after the 25th minute, but this was evened up in the next few minutes as Gala forward Callum Rowlandson was also sent to the sinbin for a high tackle on Dashton Wellman.
Gala’s Craig Dods then went wide with a penalty.
A minute from half-time Opeta Palepoi went over for a try in the left-hand corner, but then Davies pounced on a poor kick by Dods to score Selkirk’s second try, leaving the visitors 12-5 ahead at the interval.
Wellman dropped a goal for Selkirk, and it was game on when Alan Dell and Josh Irvine scored twice in three minutes and Dods converted both. But Banks banged over a penalty to give them some breathing space.
It was a nail-biting last few minutes for all supporters and coaches as Gala had possession for the majority of the time.
A pass out to Gala winger Daniel Nicholson in the last few seconds could have meant an entirely different final score, but a knock-on into touch meant Selkirk held out to give coach Peter Wright his first win of the season.
Gala have now been without a win since Friday, October 9, when they beat Hawick.
From winning their first two league games of the season, the Maroons have now had seven defeats, and are languishing at the wrong end of the table, with only the seemingly-resurgent Selkirk below them.
Wright was delighted to get that first victory of the season.
He said: “It’s been a long, hard road to get that victory, but we kind of saw it coming. We have been performing well without getting the results, and with Gala’s recent run of defeats and it being a good old Borders derby, the guys were well up for it and they had a belief in themselves that they would do it.”