Last steps in Gala FR’s league campaign
The final session of the national walking football league ended in disappointment for Gala Fairydean Rovers at the Ravenscraig Sports Centre on Wednesday.
Gala FR went into the final day in eighth place and started with a narrow defeat to North Lanark, despite taking the lead with a superb strike from John Dodds.
They then beat Tullibody 2-0, thanks to two penalties from Jim Watters, but lost the third game 1-0 to Glasgow Sport East.
The final match was against eventual runners-up Ayr United, who started strongly and scored three times without reply in the first half.
Gala FR fought back and Peter McCourt set up Watters for a late consolation goal.
Hearts 56 won the title for the third successive year and also took the Fair Play Award.
Coach John Dickson said: “The number and standard of players from each team has risen considerably this year, which demonstrates we need new players to compete at the highest level in Scotland again.
“We have a good nuclease but work commitments, holidays and injuries often mean we struggle against teams who have many more players to select.
“Next year, we will potentially be competing in two separate leagues, so we are keen to attract more people.
“Having said that, everyone who took part gave 100 per cent and we congratulate Hearts 56, who won both the league title and also the Fair Play award.”
Chairman John Hislop added: “Walking football is not just about playing in tournaments, it’s about keeping fit, making new friends and having fun.
“The sport is aimed at men and women aged over 50 and we play every Monday and Thursday at Langlee Community Centre between 2pm-3.30pm. I would urge anyone who fancies a kick about to come along as see for themselves.”
Pictured, back from left, Mike Godsman, John Dodds, Ross Buchan, Jim McLaren, Gordon Rae, John Dickson. Front, Jim Watters, Dave Thomson, John Hislop, Howard Edge, Peter McCourt.