Gala travelled to Stirling on Saturday for their first Tennents National League 1 game of the season.
It was a beautiful sunny day on a pitch which was in very good condition. This would be the first game of trialling the new system of a referee with no assistant referees, the touch being covered by club touch judges who were not allowed to make any decisions other than where the ball crossed the line and confirming penalty or conversion attempts.
The game was quite exciting but Gala appeared to have left their fighting spirit and a lot of their skills on the bus whilst Stirling were out to prove themselves.
Gala opened the scoring with a penalty by their fly half Dean Keddie but this lead was soon turned round by a try from their centre Brandon Mills which was converted by the full back Johnny Hope. After 13 minutes a penalty by Hope took the score to Stirling 10 Gala 3.
Ross Cooke, the Gala winger successfully scored a try but this was unconverted but closed the score to 2 points. This narrow margin was not to last as Stirling finished the first half with an unconverted try by Euan Cunningham, followed by a penalty by Hope and another try by the no. 10 Cunningham converted by Hope. This took the score to 25 - 8. In the dying seconds of the first half Gala’s Centre Gregor Mein crossed the line and this was converted by Dean Keddie.
The half time score was Stirling Wolves 25 Gala 15
Terry Logan, the Gala prop managed to scramble the ball over the line for a try following a ruck 10 minutes into the second half. This was unconverted but put Gala within striking distance at 25 - 20.
The game was not over for Stirling when their centre Craig Jardine scored a try converted by Hope. This was followed after a couple of minutes by a successful penalty by Hope taking the score to 35 - 20. In the final quarter Fergus Johnston scored an unconverted try for Gala bringing the final score to Stirling Wolves 35 Gala 25 despite lots of gala pressure. Stirling left the pitch happy with a bonus point win whereas Gala had to be satisfied with a solitary bonus point for their try tally.
The one thing of note to come out of this contest was that Stirling Wolves is the club side of a Super 6 club, they have named most but not all of their Super 6 squad as they don’t have to declare the final registered names until the end of the month thus allowing potential Super 6 players to play in these club games during September.
We look forward to next Saturday 14th at Netherdale when Gala take on Cartha Queens Park at 3.00 pm. A big support would be great to lift the lads after this defeat.
Other good news is a date for your diaries of Saturday, October 26th when Gala meet Kelso in the Scottish Cup. Let’s make it a big cup day, come along and bring friends and family to create a great Cup atmosphere.