A beautiful Autumn day saw Gala welcome Kelso to Netherdale for this Scottish Cup match. Unfortunately the fixture clashed with the ever popular Kelso race day which limited the spectators coming to Gala.
Kelso kicked off and Gala received the ball safely when their passing and handling showed a statement of intent.
With the Kelso pack being forced to fail to release the ball in a ruck on their own 22 metre line, Ross Cooke, the Gala winger converted the penalty to give Gala a 3 point lead after 2 minutes. Within 2 minutes, following a good passing movement starting in mid field the Gala full back Ruairi Howarth broke through the Kelso defence and good support and handling from Angus Dun and Fergus Johnston resulted in him crossing the line for a Gala try. Ross Cooke converted to make the score Gala 10 Kelso 0.
Despite good Gala possession there was no further scoring for 10 minutes but this was soon altered by Ross Cooke who received the ball out wide from Gala pressure and scored in the corner. This was unconverted but gave Gala a lead of 15 points.
Ross Cooke will be missed for next weeks league match against Boroughmuir as he is once again been selected to play for Poland.
Five minutes later with 18 minutes on the clock, the Gala hooker, Jack Easson, took the ball from a rolling maul following a lineout and crossed the line to score a further try for Gala. This was converted by Ross Cooke taking the score to Gala 22 Kelso 0
After 22 minutes the game was stopped after the referee appeared to pull a muscle and had to leave the pitch. Fortunately this being a cup tie, there were Assistant Referees in attendance, one of whom took over and a Gala team assistant took over running touch. This shows that with the presence of only club touch judges in National One League games (no Asst referees) the game would have to have been abandoned on the referee’s injury. A very poor situation.
Two minutes before half time Ross Cooke converted a penalty taking the Half Time score to
Gala 25 Kelso 0.
The second half began with an immediate Kelso fight back when within 6 minutes Fergus Common the Kelso substitute prop scored a try which was converted by Craig Dods.
No further scoring took place till 31 minutes into the second half when a Ross Cooke penalty took the score to Gala 28 Kelso 7.
Kelso scored a further unconverted try by the other prop Craig Sweeney in the first minute of injury time.
The game was not over as in the seventh minute of injury time a fast, jinking run by Gala full back Ruairi Howarth allowed him to touch down under the posts allowing Ross Cooke to add to his points total with a successful conversion.
This took the final score to Gala 35 Kelso 12.
Gala now have to wait for a few days to find who they meet in the quarter finals. The next round is at the end of January.
Next week, Saturday 2nd November, Gala return to league duties when they entertain Boroughmuir at Netherdale at 3.00pm.
Gala Wanderers, who were playing Wellington from Tynedale, fought back from a 20 point deficit to win 40 – 20, a great result for the U18’s.