RBS NATIONAL CUP QUARTER-FINAL
THE big question on everyone’s lips on Saturday was ‘had the bubble burst’ for Gala following the disappointment of losing their league challenge to Ayr last weekend.
They answered their critics the only way they know how. By turning up at Rubislaw – no easy ground for any team to win on –and grinding out a victory over a stuffy Aberdeen outfit to progress into the semi-final of the National Cup competition.
The defending champions didn’t make it easy for themselves, however, and despite playing with the wind in their favour in the opening half, only managed to turn around 13-11 ahead.
Aberdeen piled on the pressure from the off and almost went in front when Gala broke from the scrum in their own 22, but the penalty was missed.
Ten minutes in, however, and the tables were turned. Luke Pettie made good ground, when Aberdeen were penalised for a deliberate knock-on, and after shipping the ball out to the opposite wing, Craig Robertson beat the last defender to run in the first try.
Lee Millar made the conversion before adding a penalty to put his side 10 points clear.
Aberdeen closed the gap when a charged-down box kick allowed Grant Walker to slice through for an unconverted try. Millar added another penalty for the visitors, but two similar efforts from Aberdeen stand-off Mark Ryan saw them within touching distance at the break.
Aberdeen went ahead after the turn, through a drop goal and a penalty from Ryan, but Gala dug deep to rack up another two tries.
Grant Somerville scored the first, following a series of pick-up and drives, followed by a neat flip pass from Chris Auld, while the second was down to a penalty try, both converted by Millar.
Gala: A. McLean; G. Somerville, C. Auld, C. Borthwick, C. Robertson; L. Millar, George Graham; L. Pettie, C. Mackintosh, C. Hogg, C. Weir, Gary Graham, C. Keddie, B. Murray, E. Dods. Subs: L Bertram, S Cairns, T Weir, B Turner, G Young.