Gala 14

Kelso 10

David Morrison at Netherdale

SATURDAY'S howling gale made sure life was going to be difficult for both teams.

But they both still served a thrilling Borders derby.

It was Gala who adapted best to the elements early on to claim the points.

Following a dreadful end to 2017, the turn of the year has brought fresh optimism at Netherdale.

And this was evident in the opening stages as the Maroons attempted to run from deep with the wind at their backs.

The adventurous home play was rewarded with the opening try after 14 minutes as Terry Logan crashed over the whitewash after collecting Simon Fairburn's pass five metres from the line.

Dean Keddie's conversion gave Gala a deserved 7-0 lead.

Gala continued to press and they were further rewarded just eight minutes later as Simon Fairburn side-stepped through a gap to go over for a second try.

Keddie made it 14-0 with a tremendous kick from out wide.

It had taken a good half hour for Kelso to show what they are capable of - and when they did find their stride they exposed the Gala defence.

Ross Henderson barged his way through the home defence to reduce the deficit on 32 minutes.

And just before half time the Tweedsiders crept even closer as Josh Irvine came back to haunt his old club with a well-taken try.

The game hung in the balance at the break.

And for periods of the second half it looked as though Kelso would edge in front.

Iain Sim's powerful burst down the flank had Gala's defence scrambling for cover to hold the ball up over the line.

The powerful Logan continued to cause the visitors problems with his carries - and it was from one of his bursts that Jack Chambers almost scored from, being pushed into touch just a yard short.

In the end Gala held on for victory and the points which takes them up to third in the table.

Gala: G Speirs, F Hunter, D Nicholson, A Emond, J Turnbull, D Keddie, S Fairburn, C Keen, J Chambers, T Logan, J Watson, B Reavely, C Weir, R Tod & S Cairns. Reps: P Stewart, L Roden, R Irvine, S Wilkinson & L Johnston.

Kelso: C Dods, I Sim, R Cooke, G Mein, A Roberts, A Skeen, A Tait, S Karlsen, R Henderson, B Robertson, P Lawlor, H Gaiser, J Irvine, K Dryden, K Mein. Reps: C Marshall, K Cooney, C Brown, K Wilson, M Kindness