Maroons give all at Millbrae, but still suffer narrow defeat

Photograph by Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360'Galashiels Vs Melrose'Gala: George Graham 'Mel:

Photograph by Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360'Galashiels Vs Melrose'Gala: George Graham 'Mel:

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Despite being the only side in the 10-team Premiership to notch a try bonus on Saturday, Gala were narrowly edged out in their league opener against Ayr at Millbrae.

The visitors came out all guns blazing and, with just over a minute on the clock, George Graham took the ball from a scrum deep in the Ayr 22 and broke for the line to touch down, with Craig Dods converting.

Stung into action, the hosts took control for the next 20 minutes during which Ross Curle slotted two penalties, as well as converting David Armstrong’s try to give his side a 13-7 lead.

Trying to get back into the game, Gala launched several attacks in the Ayr 22, but lacked the finishing touch.

Nearing half-time, a fracas at a ruck saw Chris Weir given a yellow card, allowing Ayr to score their second try through Blair MacPherson to make it 18-7 at the break.

After the restart, Gala were immediately on the attack and a quick tap and go 
allowed Grant Somerville in at the corner.

A mix-up in the Gala defence saw Grant Anderson touch down for Ayr, Curle converting. But the Maroons dug deep and a spell of pressure, with the visiting scrum dominant, saw them awarded a penalty try, converted by Dods.

Curle notched his third penalty of the afternoon before Gala had the final say, forcing their way upfield and booting a penalty into touch, before a catch and drive allowed Josh Irvine to pick up and go for the bonus point try.