Collins enjoys family reunion in Galashiels
Gala Rovers 3 - 3 JC Legends
THERE was only ever going to be one winner on Friday evening and that was football in Galashiels.
A crowd of over 600 enjoyed an exhibition on how the game should be played by many who have reached the very top in their profession.
John Collins may have spent half of his life playing within sell-out stadiums around Europe - but you get the impression he likes nothing more than entertaining the town he will always call home.
Amongst his all-stars team were the latest generation of the Collins clan, nephews Kyle, Jamie and Rudi. And a couple of other Galashiels youngsters, Alexander Simpson and Daniel Headspeath, were also given the privilege of facing the former Scotland captain's squad.
The game itself did live up to its billing with plenty end-to-end passing moves and a few cracking goals. Dougie Bond fired Rovers into a two goal lead in the first half. Former Hibs star Keith Wright turned back the clock to get on the end of a Sean Paliczka pass and beat Stevie King.
Gordon Marshall's goal was tested by Sutherland and Steele as youth continued to get the better of experience.
But the All Stars had their own moments with Celtic legend, and current Livingston manager, John Hughes firing just wide and Jamie Collins, who is currently coming through the ranks at Aberdeen, also narrowly missing the Rovers' goal.
Paliczka equalised for the guests just before half time after some tremendous build up play from John Collins and his former Celtic team-mate Brian McLaughlin.
Gala went back in front approaching the hour when co-manager Craig Lowrie split the defence with a great pass for Sutherland to find the net. Lowrie almost made it four but his shot was well saved by Marshall.
The legends had the final say as Kyle Collins burst through to set up Wright to fire into the net.
Rovers co-manager Steven Noble said: "John and his team were fantastic and it's a real honour to play on the same pitch as these guys. We can't thank them enough."
Gala Rovers. S King, G Nicol, S Noble, S McKenzie, S Greene, A Nicol, B Miller, R.Noble, J Steele, D Sutherland & D Bond Subs: Lowrie, A. McKenzie, Quinn, Lochrie, Jardine, Simpson & Headspeath
JC All Stars: Marshall, Hunter, McKinlay, Jamieson, Hughes, John Collins, Jamie Collins, K Collins, McGlauglin, Wright & Paliczka. Subs, Amos, McGregor, Grant and R Collins
This article appeared in Border Telegraph 08 May 12
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