Musselburgh 12

Gala 15

Ian Donaldson

at Stoneyhill

WHEN it is finally announced how the leagues will look next season, Saturday's victory for Gala could prove a decisive one.

Musselburgh kicked off and started brightly with Danny Owenson prominent in the early action sniping and jinking his way through the Gala cover.

Gala at this stage were struggling to keep ‘Burgh out and eventually their line was breached in the ninth minute when after several close-range drives for the line Kyle McGhie’s quickness of thought and deed saw him open the scoring.

Owenson converted for an early 7-0 lead.

James Ferguson was having a particularly good game at full back, steady under the high ball, solid in defence and always a threat with ball in hand.

The visitors were doing all they could to keep ‘Burgh out and had to be grateful for the cover tackling of Turnbull, Jeffrey and Dods.

And half backs Johnston and Keddie managed what ball they were getting very carefully.

Both Gala wingers also showed an eagerness and a propensity to run at ‘Burgh, attributes which would prove vital later in the game.

At this stage, however, ‘Burgh still appeared to be in control and duly increased their led on 27 minutes after a well worked team try involving backs and forwards up the left flank with the Fleming brothers in concert as Willies carrying and passing allowed his brother Michael to go over for the try.

Danny Owenson's conversion attempt came back off the post.

Gala appeared to gain more procession after going two scores behind as their heavy pack began to move and disrupt ‘Burgh as the interval approached.

Gala props Christie and Logan barrelled on and their back row of Emond, Scott and Dods scrapped for everything.

Then just before the interval Dean Keddie went over under the posts.

And he converted his own try for a 12-7 scoreline.

The second half started with Gala again on the offensive.

The visiting pack were giving the ‘Burgh pack a hard time of it as Irvine and Pate were winning more line-out ball which was being well used by Johnston and Keddie as their heavy front row pushed ‘Burgh back.

Keddie added a further penalty to make it 12-10.

It came as no real surprise when winger Ross Cooke went over for a try in the corner in 67 minutes which was unconverted but left the visitors 15-12 ahead.

Both Gala wingers had appeared dangerous and Cooke in particular reaped the rewards.

Back came the hosts with some sustained pressure but their heavy drives and darting runs were all coming up short or being kept at bay by a Gala defence.

Flanker Emond's late card made it even more difficult for the Maroons but they held on for a vital victory.