Gala go top of the class

Galashiels RFC coach George Graham at Netherdale.
Galashiels RFC coach George Graham at Netherdale.

Gala 29 Glasgow Hawks 10

Gala moved to the top of the BT Premiership table after achieving an eventually comfortable victory over Glasgow Hawks at Netherdale with a dominant second half performance, to heighten interest ahead of this weekend’s hugely anticipated Border derby at Mansfield Park.

Yet despite the nineteen points margin of victory Gala won the try count by only 3-2, largely because of Hawks’ strong play in the first half and partly because of the Maroons’ propensity to concede penalties.

“We gave away far too many penalties and frankly never really adjusted to the referee’s interpretation at the break down and the offsides,” said Gala coach George Graham.

Hawks’ first half performance was helped in no small part by the presence in their pack of the former Scotland captain, Al Kellock, who was giving his shoulder a final test before making himself available for Glasgow Warriors team selection.

Kellock & co lead 10-6 a minute before the break with driven line-out tries from Andy Redmayne and Finlay Gillies. But Gala, who had kept in contact with two penalty goals by full back Craig Dods, made a crucial strike on the stroke of half time with a try in the corner by winger Graham Spiers. Half-time score: Gala 11 Glasgow Hawks 10.

Then in the second half as Gala turned up the heat, lock Opeta Palepoi and Gavin Young ran in tries the other points coming from two further penalty goals and a conversion by Dods.

Read more about this match and all other Borders Premiership and National League One fixtures in Thursday’s Southern Reporter.

Scorers: Gala Tries Spiers, Palepoi, Young Con Dods Pens Dods (4) Glasgow Hawks Tries Redmayne, Gillies

Gala: C Dods; G Young, C Auld, A Emond, G Spiers; R Howarth, George Graham; L Pettie, R Anderson, E Johnstone, C Weir, O Palepoi, Gary Graham, J Irvine, E Dods Subs used C Mackintosh, T Weir, S Chapman, G Hart, E Scott

Glasgow Hawks : A Fleming; H McPherson, R Beattie, D Milne, T Steven; G Horne, P Boyer; S Finlay, J McFarlane, B Cullinane, A Redmayne, A Kellock, T Holmes, F Gillies, T Spinks Subs used G Stewart, G Strain, S Thomson, K Beattie, R Houliston

Referee N Paterson