Gala YM 25, Langholm 26
Despite leading for three quarters of the game at Netherdale on Saturday, Gala YM were pipped at the post by Langholm when a last-minute conversion just drifted outside the post.
It was a perfect day for running rugby and that is what the crowd got, with eight tries shared.
YM had to sustain a rampant Langholm for the first 10 minutes but the YM youngsters tackled their hearts out against the much bigger visiting team.
YM went in from a great try. A long kick by Langholm deep into the YM half saw Graham Dun grab the ball and beat several tacklers in a mazy run. He found Fergus Johnston with him and slipped the ball to him for a 40-metre run to the posts. Struan Mitchell added the extras.
Langholm had a chance to get on the scoreboard but a simple straight-on penalty attempt was missed by Nathan Smith.
YM kept up the pressure and, when Rhuary Horsburgh charged down a clearance kick , he still had enough wind to run to the line for an unconverted try.
Langholm were rattled and they had lock forward Ewan Patterson sent to the bin, while Struan Mitchell kicked the penalty and YM were three scores clear at 15-0.
Langholm got a try before the break, after a long spell on the YM line, and their heavy forwards crashed over to make it 15-5 at the change round, with Alasdair Cavers getting the score.
Langholm took play to the YM line immediately in the second half and eventually managed a second try, by Jason Ratcliffe, which was converted by Nathan Smith to bring them within three points.
YM were having none of that and and a good handling move ended with a great dummy by Finlay Rutherford sending him through to score an unconverted try in the corner.
Once again, Langholm came back and scored a fine try, with scorer Jonathan Wilkes beating several tackles on the way to the line. The conversion from Nathan Smith was good and it was a one-point game.
YM were tiring with all the tackling and, as time ticked away, Langholm got their bonus point try through Steven Nicol and Smith’s conversion put them six points in front.
Right on time, a fine move by YM sent Struan Mitchell thundering down the wing to score YM’s bonus point try. Unfortunately, his touchline conversion slipped past the post, giving Langholm a one-point victory, while YM had to settle for two bonus points.
Finlay Rutherford got YM’s man of the match award, while Langholm’s choice was Lewis Miller. Both teams are in action again on December 1 – YM are at home to Corstorphine, while Langholm travel to Penicuik.