Edinburgh Accies 27
On Gala’s maroon-covered website, Lee Millar lists his rugby ambition as becoming a professional player.
If the stand-off from Elgin, who is not even 21 until later this month, carries the form he showed against Edinburgh Accies into the rest of the season, his dream will surely come true sooner rather than later.
Already a Scottish club internationalist, Millar banged over seven kicks out of seven attempts to score 19 points and set up his Gala side for the hardest of wins. Messieurs Townsend and Bradley surely will be taking note.
Accies, who had ex-Gala man Iain Berthinussen in their line-up, caused their visitors problems with their constant use of width, and outscored the Netherdale side by three tries to two.
However, it was the Maroons, trailing 3-0 to an early Ruairidh Bonner penalty, who crossed the try line first through winger Craig Robertson, who exploited space left by Accies centre Ewan Campbell sin-binning to score. Millar added a penalty, but Campbell returned to the pitch to reply with five points of his own after a scissors move involving Bonner, who also converted to level the match at 10-10.
A further Millar penalty did not represent Gala’s dominance of the closing stages of the first half, with No8 Euan Dods finally grabbing their second try from a close-range scrum.
Bonner had just enough time before half time to add another penalty, following an incident which saw Chris Weir sin-binned, to leave the interval score at 20-13.
Accies made use of their extra man at the start of the second half with Gavin Douglas’ score levelling the game again.
However, Gala stepped up the pressure up front, with Rob Dickson awarding three penalties within kicking distance.
The inevitable happened each time; Millar pulled back his right boot and the linesmen’s flags rose to signal three more points.
There was still time for Edinburgh professional James Farndale to score a spectacular try five minutes from time, as he took on the Gala backline only to be dragged down just short, before emerging seconds later in midfield to burrow over.
Bonner’s extra two points set up a tense closing, but Gala held on ahead of their next formidable task, a home match against top-of-the-table Ayr.
Gala: A. McLean; G. Somerville, B. Turner, A. Emond, C. Robertson; L. Miller, George Graham; L. Pettie, R. Anderson, E. McQuillin, C. Weir, O. Palepoi, Gary Graham, G. Lowrie, E. Dods. Subs: C. Mackintosh, D. Marshall, G. Bryce, D. Owenson, G. Young.