Gala left Meggetland on Saturday evening full of Christmas cheer having claimed five points to go above Boroughmuir in the league table. However the Boroughmuir players did not gift them those points and Gala had to work hard and dig deep to claim the spoils.
Muir started brightly and won a kickable penalty in the opening minutes but unfortunately David Reekie could not convert .Gala responded and took control of the game for the next 20 minutes but strong Muir defence restricted them to a penalty from O'Hagan and an unconverted try by No.8 Ewan Dods giving them an 0-8 lead.
Muir then got themselves back in the game launching a series of attacks on the Gala line. Gala gave up numerous penalties which Muir scrummed to keep the pressure on. In the space of five minutes Gala lost two forwards to the sin bin. Muir’s pressure finally paid off against Gala's depleted pack with Cal Davis and Sam Gibson going over for tries to give Muir a 12-8 half time lead.
Gala no doubt with Coach George Graham's words still ringing in their ears started the second half strongly and quickly reduced the deficit to 12-11 through another O'Hagan penalty. Gala kept the momentum going, scoring two quick tries from open play for Man of the Match Graham Speirs & centre Alan Edmond to put them into a 12-23 lead.
Muir responded and again put pressure on the Gala line with a number of scrums this time the referee lost his patience with the continual scrum offences and awarded a penalty try which David Reekie converted to reduce the deficit to 19-23.
There then followed a long break after Muir's go forward No.8 Callum Reid picked up a neck injury and had to be taken by stretcher from the field .After been taken to hospital for tests I am glad to report that he did not suffer any major injury and it was great to see the Gala & Muir medical teams working together to make sure every precaution was taken.
Unfortunately when the game resumed Muir could just not get the forward momentum going again which was not helped when Muir flanker Craig Keddie was sin binned. Gala finished the game stronger and with the last move of the match got a converted bonus point try to make the final score 19-28.
Despite the disappointing score Muir can take some positives from the game the team gave their all but just could not win enough ball to impose any sort of game plan on the match. Their is some great team spirit but injury to key players such as Chris Laidlaw & Ian Moodie have robbed the team of able lieutenants for skipper Andy Rose.
We have four games left and have another tough one at Hawick this weekend but all are winnable.
To see more Dave Patterson photos from the game, click here.
In other results:
The Boroughmuit Bears had a win be default with Jed Forrest unable to produce a team to travel.