Gala 22

GHA 26

Atholl Innes

at Netherdale

GALA’S hopes of playing in the new top league in Scotland next season were dashed - at least temporarily - on Saturday with a defeat at Netherdale that makes the rest of the season hard work to achieve the club goal.

In a topsy-turvy contest, only three points were scored in the first half.

But a more exciting 45 were added in the second.

The Maroons succumbed to two late tries which enabled GHA to stake its claim as a major contender for promotion and proved a disappointing end to Chris Weir’s home career as he got ready to hang up his boots with two away games remaining.

“It was a disappointing result for us,” he said.

“We wanted a top six finish and we know the results are ‘all over the top at present’.

"We have Selkirk and Marr away, and we must now put all our sights on the Selkirk game next Saturday.

“It is very disappointing, but we still have all to play for and must get together and see what we can do.”

Gala led 3-0 at half-time thanks to a Dean Keddie penalty, again 17-7 and then 22-12, before the power of the GHA pack weighed in as forwards Scott Carson and Michael Scott, the captain, scored a try each in the space of the final seven minutes to leave the home support shattered and shocked.

GHA woke up from their slumber after the interval to grind out a win that also earned the club a key bonus point.

Gala had to settle for a losing point.

Gala deserved to be ahead with a Keddie penalty after 11 minutes before Robbie Irvine seemed over, but was penalised for a knock-on, and John Frew’s celebrations were cut short after he dashed over the line when he was penalised for ‘crossing’.

Keddie was just short with a penalty after a high tackle as the Maroons dominated possession but Gala could not add to their total.

GHA were back in contention in 45 minutes with a try from Aaron Purewal, converted by Ross Finlay.

But tries from Rex Jeffrey and Martin Christie, both converted by Keddie, put the Maroons back in the driving seat at 17-12 and then 22-12 with the Nicholson try despite a score by Charlie Lonergan.

However, GHA had the last word with tries by Carson and Scott, both converted by Finlay, as time ran out for Gala.

Gala: S. Fairburn; G. Speirs, J. Turnbull, R. Jeffrey, J. Frew; D. Keddie, L. Johnston; M. Christie, C. Keen, T. Logan, C. Weir, R. Irvine, S. Cairns, L. Scott, E. Dods. Replacements: A. Brown, J. Easson, D. Nicholson, S. Wilkinson, D. Kerr.