GALA pointed the way forward to the future approach for Scottish clubs in the British and Irish Cup by requesting a core of professional players for their return match against Bristol and being allotted five full-timers for this fourth-round match in the cross-border competition, writes Alan Lorimer at Netherdale.
In the event, it made for an odd mix in the Netherdale side with Edinburgh and Glasgow full timers joining several Gala first-team regulars together with a number of fringe players, among whom teenager Josh Irvine, coming on as a replacement, did well.
There was little question, though, that the professionals, and Moray Low in particular, prevented the 60-points demolition that had happened six days earlier in Bristol, albeit that the horrendous conditions of strong wind and unrelenting rain restricted constructive use of the ball by the visitors.
In a strange match, all the points were scored in the first half, Bristol winger Ryan Edwards opening the scoring with a try from good footwork. Gala responded with pressure play that earned a penalty and three points for David O’Hagan.
The stand-off then added a second penalty but Gala’s lead was short-lived as Bristol capitalised on mistakes to run in tries by winger Andy Short and flanker Iain Grieve with stand-off Tristan Roberts kicking one conversion.
n London Scottish took quick revenge on Pontypridd for last week’s 27-20 defeat at Sardis Road, this time claiming the bonus-point victory by 26 to 21 at the Athletic Ground.