Gala 24

Jed-Forest 31

Atholl Innes

at Netherdale

GALA went close to kicking off 2019 with a win, but in the end had to be satisfied with two bonus points in a game at Netherdale that could have gone either way.

Jed-Forest sustained their challenge for promotion despite Gala winning the try count 4-3 and gaining a losing bonus point after a match that ebbed and flowed.

But one of the talking points was of a Borders derby that lacked the dynamism of such ties with the yellow card to Jed’s Donald Grieve the main spark of a dour contest.

However, the fact that Gala scored four tries against one of the best sides in National League 1 showed the club is going in the right direction.

It came down to the battle of the boot, Dean Keddie converting two of Gala’s tries while Gary Munro banged over three conversions and two penalties for the visitors.

And it was ex-Gala player Ewen Scott who dropped a goal in three minutes to give Jed the lead.

However, the ‘score’ seemed to inspire Gala, and from a scrum close to the Jed line, Euan Dods picked up and sent Keddie over for the opening try and the stand-off converted.

The Maroons were on the front foot and it was no surprise when, after Keddie missed a penalty for a high tackle, Simon Fairburn touched down in 26 minutes with Grieve in the sin-bin… and this after Scott hit the post with a drop at goal.

Two Munro penalties cut the deficit to three points at 12-9 before Jed went ahead as Callum Young was at the end of a sweeping move involving Scott and Lewis Young for Munro to convert.

Just on half-time, Lewis Young went over under the posts and Munro added the goal points for a 23-12 interval lead.

John Turnbull raced over in the left-hand corner after the break; Munro kicked a penalty; and it was ‘game on’ at 24-26 when Terry Logan was awarded a try after he had earlier been held up and Keddie converted.

However, Jed had the final word when Callum Young put the result beyond doubt with a try three minutes from the end.

Gala: S. Fairburn; R. Cooke, R. Jeffrey, A. Emond, J. Turnbull: D. Keddie, L. Johnston; M. Christie, J. Chambers, T. Logan, C. Weir, C. Pate, R. Irvine, L. Scott, E. Dods. Replacements: B. Reavley, R. Tod, I, Ross, J. Frew, J. Easson.

Jed-Forest: L Young, C Young, G Munro, R Marshall, E Stewart, E Scott, J McGough, O Ryan, F Scott, P Ferreira, J Szkudro, C Skeldon, G Law, J Northwood & D Grieve. Replacements: G Paxton, J Oliver, C McKay & N Smail.