It was good to get away from Gala on a pleasant sunny Saturday morning for a challenging game of rugby against the league leaders Biggar.
Because there were no floodlights the game kicked off on a fine afternoon at 2.00.pm. For the first 21 minutes both teams were testing each other with Gala looking the better side in possession and again showing their good strong defence.
Gala were awarded a penalty in the 21st minute and Ross Cooke broke the deadlock by converting and putting Gala ahead 3 - 0.
This lead was not to last as three minutes later the Biggar centre, Andrew Jardine, scored in the corner. This was not converted and took the score to Biggar 5 Gala 3.
Gala replied 7 minutes later when quick thinking by Gala scrum half Fergus Johnston, took advantage of a Biggar dropped pass and fly hacking ahead he chased toward the line showing good soccer skills before touching down. This was converted by Ross Cooke.
Well into injury time in the first half Gala were being forced to strongly defend their line in the 5 metre area when the ball popped up and was collected by fly half Ruairi Howarth who ran the full length of the pitch side stepping two defenders to score between the posts. It was great to see the Gala winger stick to Ruairi ‘s shoulder throughout his run giving him support. Ross converted and took the score to Biggar 5 Gala 17 at half time.
Biggar obviously had a strong discussion at half time and came out looking very determined.
This determination was rewarded within 7 minutes of the half beginning when a strong forward rolling maul pushed Gala back over their own line and allowing the Biggar prop Donald Voas to touch down. Again this was not converted.
Gala were also showing determination when a good half back combination scored. Fly half Ruairi Howarth picked up just inside the Biggar half and dodging several tackle attempts broke through before passing to Fergus Johnston who sprinted the last 20 metres showing good strength to break two tackles before touching down. This was unconverted and took the score to Biggar 10 Gala 22.
It was not over yet. In 63 minutes and 80 minutes Biggar forward strength proved triumphant when on both occasions they pushed Gala over the score line. Only the first try was converted and this made the score 22 each as the game entered injury time.
In the 82nd minute Biggar were awarded a penalty on the Gala 22 about 15 metres out from the posts.
The crowd were silent as this decisive kick was lined up. Gala supporters sighed with relief as the Biggar hopefuls gasped as all watched the ball slipping past the posts.
The final score was Biggar 22 Gala 22 a good result from a very competitive game.
Next game on the calendar is the Boxing Day game at the Greenyards against Melrose for the Waverley Cup and also the Bookers Border League competition. The Seconds of both clubs will be playing at the Greenyards, kickoff 12.30 pm. This is part of the Border Junior Cup competition. Gala Reserves are currently holders.