It was interesting to watch the faces of the Gala players as they came out of the changing rooms on to the pitch. It was definitely a reaction of deja vu as they ran out into strong wind and heavy sleet.
The similarity continued as Gala kicked off into the wind against Highland. Once again Gala were trying to play tight rugby to protect the ball whereas Highland used the power of the wind to successfully kick for territory.
Highland opened the scoring following Gala conceding a penalty for offside about 20 metres out. This was converted by the Highland fly half Scott Fraser taking the score to Gala 0 Highland 3.
Following sustained pressure by Gala the ball was released from the rear of their maul to the backs. It was cleverly flicked by the Gala captain, centre Rex Jeffrey, to Gregor Mein at centre who took the ball at speed and crashed over the line to score. This was converted by the Gala fly half, Dean Keddie.
The score was now Gala 7 Highland 3.
This situation only lasted 5 minutes when a break from Highland went to the winger Craig Findlater who avoided three Gala defenders to score in the corner. Scott Fraser proved his kicking ability by converting this difficult kick from the touch line in poor weather conditions.
Highland added to their total when they were awarded a penalty on the Gala 10 metre line in the centre of the pitch. Scott Fraser stepped up and with a strong following wind accurately converted.
This took the half time score to Gala 7 Highland 13.
When the teams returned to the pitch the sun was shining and the wind had dropped in strength and after just 6 minutes Highland were awarded a penalty for offside against Gala. This was a straightforward 20 metre kick which again was successfully completed by Scott Fraser.
After just 5 minutes Gala responded through Dean Keddie converting a penalty following an offside decision against Highland within their 22 metre area. This took the score to Gala 10 Highland 16.
The final 30 minutes passed without any further scoring by either side. The final 8 minutes saw sustained pressure on the Highland line but Gala were unable to benefit from this pressure.
The final score was Gala 10 Highland 16. This was a very exciting game where the stronger more experienced team had the edge. Gala should not be ashamed of their efforts as with a wee bit of luck the result could have been different.
Gala move up to Edinburgh next Saturday for a 3.00pm kickoff against Boroughmuir at Meggetland. Let’s hope this game goes ahead as that pitch has been waterlogged for the past two weeks.