at The Gytes
GALA repaired some of the damage of a best-forgotten league campaign to keep a tight hold on the Booker Border League Trophy – but they are not there yet.
On a wet and windy night on Friday at The Gytes, Gala came from behind to score six tries and master the horrendous conditions, aided by some adventurous play when they took advantage of the gale in the second half.
The Maroons gave young players a run-out and the opportunity to quell what has been a disappointing season against a club currently pressing for promotion to National League 1 – where, ironically, they could face relegated Gala if successful.
Gala President Graham Low watched from The Gytes platform as his side survived a difficult first half and took control after Peebles had levelled the scores just after the interval.
Low admitted that it had been a welcome success, albeit against a side, which showed plenty of effort, but were unable to combat the visitors.
“It was great to see Gala win comfortably away from home and have a good travelling support on a cold night,” he said. “Peebles are a stuffy side and it took a while to break them down.
“It was a chance to give some fringe players like John Turnbull and Robbie Irvine, both 17, stepping up from the Wanderers a game and they looked the part.”
It was never going to be a classic, but both sides strived to run at their opponents. There was an abundance of mistakes as the slippery surface and greasy ball contrived to produce errors. But Peebles will argue that the final scoreline did not do justice to their performance.
With Gregor Hunter absent, Lewis Berg took over the kicking duties for Gala, and missed only one of six conversions.
Scott Stoddart breezed over in the left-hand corner for an early score to give Peebles the lead. Gala dug deep under the pressure to defend its line and it was Berg who scored the opening try and Gregor Mein, in the No. 10 jersey, added a second, Berg converting one to give Gala a 12-5 interval lead.
Jack Harrison’s try and Greg Raeburn’s conversion closed the gap before George Lott broke to score, and from then on, there was little doubt about the outcome.
Chris Weir, John Watson and Robert Louw added to the scoreline, as well as Berg’s conversion, and Gala left a wet Peebles with a dry smile on their faces.
Gala: G. Speirs; R. Combe, L. Berg, P. Hendry, D. Burrows; G. Mein, G. Lott; C. Reynolds, R. Todd, T. Skeet, C. Weir, R. Louw, H. Borthwick, F. Hunter, S. Cairns. Replacements: D. Brooker, L. Roden, J. Watson, R. Irvine, J. Turnbull, S. Fairbairn.