Gala 16

Selkirk 5

SOMETHING Had to give on Saturday and it was Gala who maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a victory over Selkirk in BT National League One.

Maroons coach Chris Dalgleish revealed he was "really pleased" with his side's victory and the start to the season.

Gala ran out 16-5 winners in a closely fought derby at a sun-kissed Netherdale on Saturday.

Dalgleish said: "I'm really pleased with the result, I thought we stuck in and showed a lot of effort.

"We dominated the scrum, which was probably the difference between the two teams, it got us penalties and field positions and allowed us to get that scoreboard ticking.

"If someone had said we'd get five wins out of five at the start of the season we'd have taken their hand off for that."

Gala led 6-0 at the interval, with two penalties from Gregor Hunter proving the difference between the two sides.

However, Selkirk had their chances too, with Clinton Wagman and Callum McEwan combining to almost score the game's first try after Rory Banks had missed a penalty.

But determined defending from the home team kept the visitors at bay.

Tribute was paid at half-time to Gala stalwart Ian Millar for his many years of service to the club, including in the role of development officer and his work with the youngsters, as he steps downs.

He revealed he had coached a dozen of the players on the pitch - including five in the Selkirk team.

Ian said: "It's great to see these youngsters coming through. I'm asked often what has given me the most pleasure in being involved in Mini and Midi rugby and I have to say it's nice to see guys reach the senior level and even go further, but it's just as good to see 'little Jimmy in P3' picking up the ball and running in the right direction for the first time and seeing the delight on their face when they score their first point.

"It's just great to see because it's a great game."

Gala brought on some fresh legs at the start of the second half with Alan Emond, Robbie Irvine and Lachlan Johnston replacing Dean Keddie, Blair Reavely and Ian Ross.

And, six minutes in, the home side extended their lead with the game's first try. Graham Speirs burst down the wing before releasing John Turnbull to score. Gregor Hunter added the conversion.

As the clocked ticked down, Selkirk were rewarded for their persistence in playing running rugby when Scott Hendrie finally found a way through the Gala rearguard, touching down in the corner for an uncoverted try.

But, in the final minute, the visitors were penalised under the posts and Gregor Hunter put the result beyond doubt from the resultant spot kick.

Reflecting on the game, Gala prop Terry Logan said: "I think there is still a lot to work on. But we can build on that and take it forward into next week."

Gala now leapfrog Selkirk into second place in the league table, just two points behind leaders Edinburgh Accies.

Selkirk team manager Tom Ramage told us: "We played the game at a fast tempo but were foiled by a very strong Gala defence.

"There were occasions, as well, when we took the wrong options."

Gala: Speirs, Keen, Chambers, Keddie, Turnbull, Wilkinson, Logan, Weir, Pate, Jeffrey, Russell, Cairns, Christie, Irvine, Ross, Emond, Reavely, Johnston, Hunter, Stewart.