GALA may have felt demoralised after a shock defeat just over a week ago by Heriot’s at Goldenacre but, on Saturday, they got their season back on track.
Gala 33 - 21 Aberdeen Grammar
Scorers: Gala – Tries: Palepoi, Emond T Weir, Speirs, George Graham. Cons: O’Hagan (4). Aberdeen Grammar – Tries: Clow, McGinness. Con: Clow. Pens: Clow (3).
Referee: G Gordon.
Coach George Graham’s sombre appearance of the week before turned to one of smiles as he saw his side battle back from adversity to joy as his side collected a try bonus point.
And his assistant Scott Nichol added: “We were a bit worried that it might be the same again after we scored the bonus point early. We were delighted to get the response after last week.
“There was a lot of soul-searching at training and we were worried in case we switched off again. But we are delighted with the performance and the result. The boys were up for it and we took control in the second half.”
For Aberdeen, and new coach Kevin Wyness, it was another step towards a long season in which survival is the immediate target, and he admitted: “We are disappointed with the result. Josh Strauss [Glasgow] had game time, but only for 40 minutes. It is never an easy decision to make. We came out on top in the first half and then fell away. We cannot put a finger on it, but that is two weeks running now and something we have to address at training this week. But that is only three games and there is a long way to go.”
For the first 15 minutes, Gala looked impressive and it was no surprise when Opeta Palepoi was driven over after a line-out. But Aberdeen found their feet and Graeme Clow took control. The stand-off banged over three penalties and converted his own superbly-worked try.
However, Alan Emond, who was later to limp off injured, crashed through close to half-time and David O’Hagan converted to close the gap to four points.
Gala were quick out of the blocks after the interval and quick tries by Tom Weir and Graham Speirs changed the course of the game. It was no surprise when George Graham nipped over from a rehearsed move and Tom McGinness’ late score was mere consolation.
Gala: A McLean; G Speirs, C Auld, A Emond, G Somerville; DO’Hagan, George Graham; R Sutherland, R Anderson, E McQuillin, O Palepoi, C Borthwick, Gary Graham, T Weir, S Cairns. Replacements: L Bertram, C Mackintosh, C Keddie, C Weir, E Scott, L Draycott.
Aberdeen Grammar: A Ratcliffe; C Gordon, H Duthie, W Wardlaw, G Walker; G Clow, M Ward; M Dixon, S O’Connor, S Cessford, C Harvey, J Metcalfe, R Cessford G Ryan,, T McGinness. Replacements: S Bingham, M Schosser, J Strauss, M Ryan, L Earle-Wright.