Gala v Hawick friendly underlines spirit of Borders rugby

Gala welcomed Hawick to Netherdale on Saturday for a pre-season friendly warm-up game.

Monday, 19th August 2019, 1:15 pm
Hawick's Matt Carryer, with the ball (and an ex-Gala player) about to feel the weight of a tackle by Martin Christie (picture by Alwyn Johnston).

Both clubs were represented by mixed squads of first and second team players, and the game was divided

into three periods of 30 minutes.

Saturday turned out to be a pleasant, sunny day and, on a beautifully maintained pitch, conditions

were ideally suited for rugby.  

There was a reasonable crowd, all in good fettle, which proved the friendship and competition in Borders rugby.

Before the start, Gala had the registration of their younger players and perhaps future internationalists in the mini section.  

Over 100 young girls and boys attended for the occasion and obviously enjoyed meeting friends and coaches on the day.

The Gala players had started the day with a fund raising car wash and coffee morning, which was very successful and raised over £600 in funds.

The main event started at 3pm and saw a very close encounter, with Gala matching each score of Hawick. After 18 minutes, the score was 14--14, following two converted tries each.  

Hawick gained the upper hand after 27 minutes by crossing the line for their third try of the first period, which was converted, resulting in the first period ending Gala 14, Hawick 21.

After a brief break, the second session commenced, with a shuffle of players on both sides.  Gala were over-run in this period and were not up to the strength of the Hawick team, running out losers by 0-26.

Between the second and final periods of adult rugby, some of Gala’s newly-registered minis took to the main pitch and entertained the spectators to a short game of touch rugby.  This was good fun to watch and, what the young players lacked in skill, they more than made up for with enthusiasm.

In the final period of rugby, the competition was very close, with Gala showing good defensive skills and determination.  

When they had the ball in the backs, there was a great deal of skill and speed which bodes well for the future season.

Hawick managed to cross the line for an unconverted try two minutes from the end of the period.

All in all, this was a successful day for both sides, enjoyed by the spectators.  

The next game at Netherdale is on Saturday, August 31 against Jed-Forest.  This will be a competitive game in the Bookers Border League and, despite the league difference between the clubs, it promises to be an entertaining afternoon out.

Finally, the Borders clubs were extremely grateful to Bookers for once again sponsoring the Border League.  

Gala president Ian Dalgleish said: “This is an interesting tournament within the Borders and, without the financial help of Bookers, it would be difficult to continue.”