Gala 13

Edinburgh Accies 16

David Morrison at Netherdale

IT was always going to take a magnificent effort for either of these teams to make it seven wins in a row.

In the end it was the capital side who edged a nervy encounter to take their place at the top of the table.

Bar a few errors and cheap penalties it could easily have been the Maroons that are still setting the pace in BT National One.

An injury to Scott Wilkinson after only 40 seconds led to a lengthy delay and a trip to the BGH.

When battle did recommence there was little to separate the two unbeaten teams.

Gregor Hunter kicked Gala into the lead approaching the quarter hour.

Richard Mill pulled his own penalty a metre wide just a couple of minutes later.

There was an element of each team cancelling the other out as the forwards battled for yards around the middle of the Netherdale pitch.

And the vast majority of the countless penalties were out of reach for either Hunter or Mill.

The Accies kicker did finally slot home three points just before the interval to level the scores.

It was Accies who began the second half in the ascendency with their large pack gaining valuable yards.

And it was from a scrum on the five metres line, approaching 50 minutes, that they finally worked their way over the line.

The ball was worked wide and Luther Hirini crashed over for the opening try.

Mill's conversion gave the visitors a seven point advantage.

Gala responded with a Hunter penalty as they began to push the visitors back into their own 22.

But almost immediately Mill took full advantage of yet another penalty offence by the Gala pack.

With less than quarter of an hour on the clock Mill looked like he had give Accies the breathing space they needed with a drop goal to extend the lead to 16-6.

But a yellow card for their number eight, Lawrie Seydak, gave Gala the opportunity they were looking for.

It took until the 77th minute for the home team to finally go over with Craig Russell taking advantage of the overlap to go in near the corner.

Hunter's terrific conversion from near the touchline reduced the deficit to just three points with a little over two minutes remaining.

Accies attempted to see the game out but a turnover deep in the Gala half allowed the home half-backs to break only for play to be pulled back by the referee for an infringement.

It wasn't a classic but Accies weren't complaining as they maintained their unbeaten run for another week.

For Gala, it will be a case of keeping down the penalty count when they head for GHA on Saturday and hopefully come home from Braidholm with the win.

Gala: Graham Speirs, Fraser Hunter, Rex Jeffrey, Alan Emond, Craig Russell, Gregor Hunter, Lachlan Johnston; Martin Christie, Chris Keen, Terry Logan, Chris Weir, Cameron Pate, Robbie Irvine, Scott Wilkinson & Stephen Cairns. Reps: Paul Stewart, Blair Reavely, Richard Tod, Ewan Gunter & Dean Keddie.