ATHOLL INNES reports from Malleny Park
GALA made the rugby world sit up and take notice with a win at Currie on Saturday that was possibly beyond even their own expectations.
A three tries to one count, 22 points from the boot of Lee Millar, and an impressive and dominating forwards’ display that countered everything that the big Currie side could throw back at them laid the foundations for a personal success for the Graham family.
Coach George led from the touchline, and players George and Gary each scored the tries. All that was missing was the bonus point in a win tempered by an apparent shoulder injury after only 20 minutes on the field to Zimbabwean Gerald Sibanda.
It was game to savour, too, for full back Andy McLean, who took a year out of the game and moved his position to accommodate Lee Millar.
McLean said: “I felt that it was time for a break. This is a position that I have had hardly ever played before and I am happy just to be involved.
“We played well into the wind in the first half, Lee kicked his goals and in the end it was a comprehensive win. We are still in contention for the title and hope that we can catch Ayr.”
It was a day, too, that the coach relished.
“This was a terrific win. We were magnificent. It was a fantastic result. We shut them down and the defence was back to where we had been in the past,” he said.
Gala played into the wind during the first half and turned round 14-12 ahead at the break after the opening 40 minutes went on for 49 due to Sibanda’s injury.
Then, with the wind, the Maroons defended well and, against a big and bustling Currie pack, even had the audacity to drive them back and win a penalty try from referee Gary Gordon.
Sibanda laid on the opening try for George Graham and brother Gary added the last, while Millar kicked with authority.
The homesters’ touchdown came from Ross Weston and the kicks from Jamie Forbes.
Gala: A. McLean; G. Sibanda, C. Auld, C. Borthwick, C. Robertson; L. Millar, George Graham; L. Pettie, C. MacIntosh, E. McQuillin, O. Palepoi, C. Weir, Gary Graham, E. Dods, G. Bryce. Subs: R. Anderson, S. Cairns, C. Keddie, G. Somerville, J. King.