Fitting tribute to 'cheeky chap' Matt
Published: 15 May 2012 09:300 comments
A crowd of around 850 supporters attended the match under the floodlights at Netherdale - home of Gala Rugby Club - on Friday night to show their appreciation for the former Galashiels Academy pupil, including scores of school children, many of his former classmates.
The home side led from start to finish and at one point held a 29-8 lead. However, the visitors bounced back in the second half in what turned out to be a closely fought encounter.
Two Gala players, wing forward Callum Miller and winger Josh Bertram, were taken to hospital after suffering a clash of heads during the game. They both needed stitches to an eye wound.
However, the Maroons held on to win. And they dedicated the victory to Matt Lochrie, who was described as a talented rugby player and "cheeky chap who was always smiling."
A collection on the gate, a raffle and donations from local businesses helped raised £1600 for Gala Red Triangle on the night. And now it is hoped to make the memorial match an annual event.
GRT coach Jamie Dewar, who organised the match, told the Border Telegraph: "It was a fantastic night. Matt had loads of friends both at Gala and Melrose so it was felt that an annual game between the teams would be the most suitable memorial. It was a close game but perhaps apt that Gala won."
And he added: "It's our intention to make the match an annual event, to be played between Gala and Melrose, at the end of each season."