Stirling Wolves 35, Gala 25
Gala travelled to Stirling on Saturday for their first Tennents National League 1 game of the season.
It was a beautiful sunny day, on a pitch which was in very good condition.
This would be the first game of trialling the new system of a referee with no assistant referees – the touch being covered by
club touch judges, who were not allowed to make any decisions other than where the ball crossed the line and confirming penalty or conversion attempts.
The game was quite exciting but Gala appeared to have left their fighting spirit, and a lot of their skills, on the bus, while Stirling were out to prove themselves.
Gala opened the scoring with a penalty by their fly half Dean Keddie but this lead was soon turned
round by a try from Wolves’ centre Brandon Mills, which was converted by full back Johnny Hope.
After 13 minutes, a penalty by Hope took the score to Stirling 10, Gala 3.
Ross Cooke, the Gala winger, successfully scored a try and, although it was unconverted, it closed the score
to two points.
This narrow margin was not to last as Stirling finished the first half with an unconverted try by Euan Cunningham, followed by a penalty by Hope and another try by number 10 Cunningham, converted by Hope. This took the score to 25- 8.
In the dying seconds of the first half, Gala’s centre Gregor Mein crossed the line and this was converted by Dean Keddie.
The half time score was Stirling Wolves 25, Gala 15.
Terry Logan, the Gala prop, managed to scramble the ball over the line for a try following a ruck 10 minutes into the second half. This was unconverted but put Gala within striking distance at 25-20.
The game was not over for Stirling when their centre, Craig Jardine, scored a try, converted by Hope. This was followed after a couple of minutes by a successful penalty by Hope taking the score to 35-20.
In the final quarter, Fergus Johnston scored a non-converted try for Gala, bringing the final score
to Stirling Wolves 35, Gala 25 – despite lots of Gala pressure.
Stirling left the pitch happy with a bonus point win, whereas Gala had to be satisfied with a solitary bonus point for their try tally.
One thing of note to come out of this contest was that Stirling Wolves is the club side of a Super 6 club. It has named most but not all of its Super 6 squad, as it doesn’t have to declare the final registered names until the end of the month – thus allowing potential Super 6 players to play in
these club games during September.
Gala look forward to this Saturday at Netherdale when they take on Cartha Queen’s Park at 3pm. The club said a big support would be great to lift the lads after the Wolves defeat.
Another diary date is Saturday, October 26, when Gala meet Kelso in the Scottish Cup.
“Let’s make it a big cup day,” said a spokesman. “Come along and bring friends and family to create a great cup atmosphere.”