Biggar trip one of two potential Tennent's National League Division 1 title deciders for Gala

Gala remain in pole position in rugby’s Tennent’s National League Division 1 going into what could turn out to be a crunch match away to third-placed Biggar this coming weekend.

By Darin Hutson
Monday, 28th March 2022, 12:52 pm
Updated Monday, 28th March 2022, 12:52 pm
Try-scorer Angus Dun on the charge for Gala against Highland on Saturday (Photo: Bill McBurnie)
Try-scorer Angus Dun on the charge for Gala against Highland on Saturday (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

The promotion-chasing Galashiels side demolished Highland 38-7 at home at Netherdale on Saturday to keep themselves two points clear of Heriot’s Blues at the top of the table.

Both Biggar and Heriot’s also won at the weekend, 38-14 at Boroughmuir and 43-29 at home to Dundee respectively, to keep the pressure up on head coach Fraser Thomson’s men in maroon, but three bonus-point wins in a row, putting them on 79 points from 19 games, mean the title is still theirs to lose with three matches left to play.

The Borderers’ try-scorers against seventh-placed Highland were Ben Gill, Euan Dods, Fergus Johnston, Jack Easson, Tim McKavanagh and Angus Dun, with Craig Dods adding four conversions.

Gala full-back Murray Wilson putting in a tackle against Highland (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

Adriu Muritoki got the Inverness outfit’s only touchdown of the afternoon, converted by Scott Fraser.

“That’s three games to go now. We’ll just take every game as it comes,” Gala captain Liam Scott told Borders Rugby TV afterwards.

“We just need to keep playing our shape and our structure and bringing that into it.

“The league’s ours to lose.”

Gala No 12 Tim McKavanagh on his way to scoring a try against Highland (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

Biggar are the next obstacle in Gala’s way to the title and the South Lanarkshire side will be hoping to pull off a winning double back home at Hartreemill this weekend, having won the reverse fixture at Netherdale 33-29 in February, though Gala, after being 28-0 down half an hour in, did mount a fightback to claim a try bonus point and losing bonus point and get the scoreline to within an unconverted try.

Saturday’s game kicks off at 3pm and the hosts go into it four points behind their visitors.

Gala, though, are out to make amends for February’s defeat, one of only three inflicted on them so far this season.

"That game against Biggar, that first half an hour, that wasn’t us, and then that second half, when we came back into it, that’s everything we’re about – character and determination,” said Scott.

Angus Dun scoring a try for Gala against Highland (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

“I think the fact that we got back into that game and made it a contest and very nearly won it stands testament to our intentions and our ability, so I’m totally confident that we can go out there and do the job in our next three games and we’re looking forward to it.

“We need to keep our discipline up and just make sure we’re playing that shape and playing that structure and giving ourselves depth and that margin for error that sometimes we’re guilty of giving away.

“We’ve got to keep on going, keep on rolling.”

Looking back at Saturday’s win, Scott conceded that it hadn’t been as comfortable as the scoreline might suggest, admitting: “It wasn’t the most pretty of wins.

Gala's Euan Dods making a challenge against Highland (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

“We were under the cosh a few times but I think we did really well.”

The remainder of Gala’s run-in comprises another potential title decider at home to Heriot’s on Saturday, April 16, and a trip up to eighth-placed Dundee on Saturday, April 23.