Gala welcomed Jedforest to Netherdale on Saturday 31st August 2019 for Gala’s first Booker Border League tie. Jed had already played one game on the previous Saturday when they beat Melrose 29 to 22 at Riverside.
It was a bright sunny afternoon on a pitch which was in really good condition. Gala kicked off through Dean Keddie to commence the tie.
Throughout the first 10 minutes Gala attacked in Jed’s half of the field but failed to capitalise on their possession. They so nearly scored but the winger put a foot in touch as he attempted to cross the line.
Gala were soon punished for their mistakes when Lewis Young the Jed full back and ex Scottish International 7’s player gathered the ball in his own 22 metres then ran the full length of the pitch to cross the line for the first try. This was successfully converted by Garry Munro, scrum half, bringing the score to Gala 0 Jedforest 7.
This score was followed by 10 minutes of rugby going to and fro but generally being dominated by a more physical Jedforest side but with Gala defending well. At the end of the first quarter the Jed no. 8 Othello Heka had to leave the pitch with an injury but was replaced by Elliot Lauder.
After 23 minutes Gala dropped further behind with a try being scored by the Jed hooker, Cole Lothian who grounded the ball between the posts. This was again converted by Garry Munro bringing the score to Gala 0 Jedforest 14.
The drama of the half was not over as Gala in the 26th minute gathered the ball in a line out within the Jed 22 metres and this allowed a powerful burst by Gala’s new player from Holland, Jesse de Vries, to score in the corner. This was not converted but brought the score to Gala 5 Jed 14.
In the final minute of the half Gala were awarded a penalty which Dean Keddie kicked into touch within the Jed 22 metre area. Resulting from a fine passing move the ball was gathered by the Gala hooker Jack Easson who went over in the corner allowing a successful conversion from the touch line by Dean Keddie.
HT Gala 12 Jedforest 14
There was only one change in the line up for the start of the second half. Simon Fairburn took over as full back in place of Struan Mitchell. The second period was barely under way when after 3 minutes the Jed prop Harry Meadows left the field to be replaced by Adam Keller.
After 49 minutes a penalty was awarded to Jed and following a misunderstanding by many, including the Gala supporters Lewis Young took the penalty to himself then ran throughunopposed and scored. This was not converted and took the score to Gala 12 Jedforest 19.
With Grant Paxton the other Jed prop sustaining an injury and leaving the field, Harry Meadows returned to the fray.
The next try came after 14 minutes when, following a drop out from the Gala 22 the ball was gathered by Jed allowing their centre Robert Hogg to score the Jed fourth and bonus point try. This was unconverted taking the score to Gala 12 Jedforest 24. At this time Gala hooker Jack Easson left the field to be replaced by Richie Tod.
Ruairi Howarth who has returned to Gala this season had a fine solo effort scoring Gala’ s third try which was converted by Dean Keddie. Following this score Neil Turnbull and Lachlan Johnston were replaced by Mark Knight and Gavin Hamilton.
The substitutions continued for Gala when Andrew Brown was replaced by Kyle Scott after 27 minutes of the second half and following a leg injury Jessie de Vries was replaced by Neil Turnbull returning to the field.
Jed’s final score came in the 34th minute when after a periodof pressure their substitute Adam Keeler used his strength and weight to break Gala’s defence before passing to Gregor Young to score. This try was not converted and took the score to Gala 19 Jed 29.
After 45 minutes Gala were awarded a penalty on the Jed 22 metre line. This was successfully converted by Dean Keddie to take the final score to GALA 22 JEDFOREST 29.
The Booker Man of the Match was Lewis Young.
Officials for this game were referee Craig Clark with assistants Graeme Connell and Calum Wehmeyer.
This was a fine game of rugby which gave a great deal of pleasure to supporters from both Border towns.
Gala are away to Stirling on their first National One League game Saturday 7th September at 3.00 pm and our next home game is on Saturday 14th September 2019 at 3.00pm againstCartha Queen’s Park. Gala hope to see as many as possible at the game.