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Match Report: Gala Wanderers 50-10 Melrose Wasps

Gala started the game well, having most of the early possession with Callum Corry scoring twice in the first 15 minutes and Rory Wilson converting the first. There were then two good chances of further tries but they were each ended by knock-ons. Gala kept up a good tempo for the whole game and always looked like they would win it.

In the 20th minute our Captain, Jamie Bell playing Inside Centre instead of his more usual No. 8, broke the defensive line crossing the Melrose try-line out wide on the left but touching-down under the posts to give Rory the chance of an easy conversion. That made the score 0-19. Five minutes later Arran Little scored beside to the posts and Rory, again, converted to give Gala a 0-26 lead. After that Melrose started to get back into the game after winning a penalty for a high-tackle and the resulting kick gave them a line-out on the Gala 22.

However, Gala won the ball back and released Sam McAneny who chipped and chased well to score his first of the game under the posts and with Rory’s conversion that put Gala into an unassailable winning lead of 33 to nothing at half-time.

Melrose undoubtably came out of the half-time break determined to make a come-back and one of their first moves was a positive-looking kick forward which unfortunately went over the dead-ball line gifting Gala a scrum on the half-way line but after a few phases Gala lost the ball and Melrose managed an unconverted score on the right to give them their first points of the game after 45 minutes. Their second came five minutes later, winning a Gala line-out after which they broke through the defence to score but the conversion was, again, missed: 10-33.

The next 10 minutes was a good competitive period including a knock-on from Melrose and some phased play from Gala. Rory attempted a cross-field kick with Sam just unable to gather it with the try-line in sight. That gave Melrose a line-out allowing them to kick the ball clear into the Gala half but a wonderful 50-22 kick from Callum gave Gala another line-out inside the Melrose 22. Gala won that and shifted play to the right-hand side of the field for a well-deserved touch-down from Gregor Balmer. The conversion was missed from the widest of positions but Gala were up by 38 points to 10 by this point. 22 minutes into the second half and a successful scrum by Melrose released an attacking run which was ended by the Melrose spilling the ball in tackle and the loose ball was collected by Sam who shot down the left wing to score his second. With Rory converting, the score was now 10-45.

The referee, controlling the game well, then marched Melrose back 30m for, assumingly, a dissenting voice which put Gala in a much more positive field position and Sam made the most of that sprinting forward the length of the Melrose half to score his hattrick with the final play, and the final points, of the game.

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