Gala v Hawick
A large and vocal Greens support made their way to old rivals Gala for an eagerly anticipated match following last weeks nail-biting one point victory. Nails were certainly bitten again but the Robbie Dyes finished on the wrong end of a one pointer on this occasion.
The home side started in impressive form and had the best of the possession, territory and scoring in the first quarter of the match. Winger Robertson went in under the posts for the first score after some loose play and looser tackling from the visitors, with Hunter adding the points. After Ali Weir failed to take advantage of a penalty opportunity, Gala increased their lead with a good display of fast handling putting Hendry over in the right corner, again Hunter made the conversion and Gala were ahead by 14 points after 16mins.
Hawick managed to stop the rot and, with a bit more possession and pressure, gave Weir two opportunities from penalty kicks, both of which were slotted home. This seemed to unsettle the home team, who began to make mistakes for the Greens to exploit and after several phases in the Gala 22, Greens winger Hamilton reached the line. Weir again made no mistake and Hawick went in half-time only one point adrift and with the game moving in their favour.
The second half started as the first had ended, with Hawick making the running, and despite some basic errors at set piece and in the open, they took the lead 14-16 with Weir’s third penalty after only 7mins. This was short lived, however, as Hunter took advantage of a Hawick infringement after the visitors had put pressure on themselves with a dropped catch. The score changed again in Hawick’s favour when lock Robertson finished off a good phase of Hawick play by touching down in the left corner. On this occasion, the extra points went begging but Hawick were 17-21 up with 15 mins left, with both sets of supporters feeling that it was all to play for.
It was the home team who showed the stronger will as they put pressure on the Hawick pack to gain a penalty from which fast hands and good support play gave winger Combe the chance to go over in the corner. Although Hunter missed the conversion this time, the lead had changed hands for the final time. Hawick desperately pressed for the winning score as the clock ticked down and almost made the Gala line on two occasions. However, the home defence held firm and the home crowd greeted the final whistle with relief more than celebration.
This was another competitive and exciting club game without any professionals on either side, and although there were perhaps too many basic errors from both teams, it certainly had the crowd on the edge of their seats.