Graham tells team to buck up before luck runs out

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

Gala RFC head coach George Graham wasn’t exactly the happiest bunny on the bus when travelling back up the A7 from Mansfield Park last Saturday.

In fact, he was hopping mad following his team’s win – yes, win – over local rivals Hawick in the BT Premiership.

“I’m absolutely furious,” he told the gathered media after the game. “We scored three good tries by playing the kind of rugby that we can play and by doing the things that we practice – and then for some reason they just shut down and stopped playing.”

Had it not been for a last-gasp drop goal from Craig Dods, Gala would have surely lost the game (see Alan Lorimer’s report on page 77) and dropped several places on the league table in the process.

“They were lucky to come away with a win,” added Graham.

This Saturday, Stirling County visit Netherdale and luck is certainly not something the Maroons boss wants to be relying on.

“It’s a strange thing to be sitting at the top of the Premiership and to be so angry,” he admitted. “But I feel we have been relying on luck and sooner or later it is going to run out. We have to start playing the kind of game we know that we can play for the whole 80 minutes.”

A win against Currie at the Greenyards this weekend could see Melrose leapfrog the Balerno outfit into fourth place, while Hawick go west to tackle Glasgow Hawks.

With three wins from three, Selkirk are sitting pretty at the top of National League One, but complacency is not a luxury the Souters can afford.

Watsonians are the visitors to Philiphaugh this weekend, with Kelso hosting Dundee and Jed-Forest also at home to Stewart’s Melville. Peebles will visit Braidholm to take on top-place challengers GHA on their home turf.

z Incidentally, in February 1981 you’ll find a Hawick-Gala game remarkably similar to last weekend’s.

A win for Gala by 10-8 and a score deep into injury time – a Peter Dods (father of Saturday’s hero Craig) try. That particular game produced lots of arguments about the length of injury time played, and referee Alan Hosie got a lot of stick, leading to Henry Douglas writing his memorable song, The Day Hosie Forgot To Bla’.