Gala 35

Kelso 12

Bob Sneddon

at Netherdale

GALA progressed in the Scottish Cup following an impressive derby win against Kelso.

Straight from the kick off Gala showed their intent with some good handling.

An early penalty from Ross Cooke gave the Maroons a deserved early lead.

In the fourth minute, Ruari Howarth burst through the Kelso defence to pass through Angus Dun for Fergus Johnston to score the opening try.

Cooke's conversion gave the home side a 10-0 lead.

Kelso managed to stem the flow briefly as Gala continued to play some impressive rugby.

But Cooke managed to open the door once more on the quarter hour as he raced in at the corner.

Cooke, who will miss next week's league match against Boroughmuir after international selection for Poland, was just off target with the conversion.

The lead was extended further in the 19th minute as hooker Jack Easson slipped from the back of a rolling maul to touch down.

Cooke's conversion had Gala 22-0 up.

An injury to the referee led to a lengthy delay in play.

Thankfully as the match was a Scottish Cup tie there were assistants on the lines, not like in league fixtures, and one of them was able to act as a replacement.

Following the change of officials, Gala had to settle for a penalty before the interval from Cooke for a half-time 25-0 lead.

As far as derbies go, it had been unusually straightforward for Gala to open up such a lead.

But it was a different Kelso who came out for the second half.

Within six minutes of the restart substitute prop Fergus Common forced his way over for a try.

Craig Dods added the conversion.

Kelso did pose much more of a threat but Gala's defence stood firm.

And it was home team who increased the advantage through a Cooke penalty in the 70th minute.

Kelso were rewarded for their second half effort with a Craig Sweeney try in the closing minutes.

But there was still enough injury time for Howarth to go on a mazy run and touch down beneath the posts.

Cooke made the final score 35-12 with the conversion.

Gala now have to wait for a few days to find who they meet in January's quarter finals.

This weekend they return to league duties and entertain Boroughmuir with a 3pm kick off.