GHA 34

Gala 14

Fiona Hendrie

at Braidholm

GALA couldn't make it four in a row as hosts GHA adapted best to the tricky conditions at Braidholm on Saturday.

Persistent rain had left the pitch muddy and the swirling wind made kicking difficult all afternoon.

Knock-ons and dropped passes summed up the opening exchanges.

But Gala found their way to make good yards and force a few early penalties.

John Turnbull was stopped from going over with a timely tackle.

But another forced penalty saw the Maroons elect for the scrum on the quarter hour and eventually, after several resets and a yellow card for a GHA forward, Kieran Brown bundled his way over.

Dean Keddie added the conversion.

Even with a man down, though, GHA began to peg the visitors back and it wasn't long until they pulled a try back.

Max MacFarlane burst through the Gala defence to feed Ben Addison for the score out wide.

GHA continued to push Gala back with some excellent interplay between forwards and backs.

But the home team had to settle for a penalty on the half hour, kicked by Murray Houston, as the visiting defence held firm.

Houston added a further two penalties before the break to give the hosts a 14-7 advantage.

Gala came out for the second half fired up and it wasn't long until some powerful drives were rewarded with Rex Jeffrey going over for a try.

Keddie made it 14-14 with the kick.

Gala seemed to be gaining the upper hand but several dropped passes took away the momentum.

GHA looked more assured with ball in hand and their first visit into the Gala half after the interval led to Ross Angus going over on the hour.

The missed conversion gave the home side a 19-14 lead.

After giving away a handful of penalties Gala found themselves further behind just five minutes later as Michael Scott touched down in the near corner.

A George Baird penalty with 12 minutes remaining put GHA almost out of sight at 27-14.

And they made sure of the victory just three minutes later as MacFarlane again found a space in the defence to send Charles Lonergan over for the try.

Baird's conversion made the final score 34-14.

GALA: R Cooke, J Frew, R Jeffrey, A Edmond, J Turnbull, D Keddie, S Fairburn, M Christie, C Keen, T Logan, R Irvine, C Pate, J Irvine, K Brown, E Dods, J McCabe, B Reavely, D Nicholson, A Turner, & L Johnston