Ultimately what matters to Gala is success in this season’s RBS Premiership, but victories in the British & Irish Cup can only have a confidence-lifting effect as they strive for domestic honours.
Scorers: Gala: Tries: George Graham 2. Con: Millar. Pens: Millar 2. Moseley: Try: Pons. Pens: Thomas 2.
Yesterday at a Netherdale ground that had been gently cooking at gas mark two since Tuesday to defeat the effects of the current wintry weather, Gala chalked up their second win in the B&I Cup with an impressive performance against the Pool 6 leaders Moseley. The Midlands club came to Netherdale with maximum points in the bag, but against a Gala side who showed much greater fluency in attack and who tackled till they just about dropped, Moseley’s reputation in the competition was sliced apart.
Admittedly the Birmingham club have suffered a torrid time recently in the RFU Championship and in the process collected a ward of wounded players that forced coaches Kevin Maggs and former Scotland prop Dave Hilton to fill in on the bench.
Gala, however, were worthy winners after not only a determined team performance but some impressive individual displays from half backs George Graham and Lee Millar that deserved interest from the professional ranks.
Gala showed their intentions early in the game when Bryce Turner sliced through the Moseley defence. Minutes later, after hooker Adam Caves collected a yellow card, Millar put over a penalty kick and then, when Steve Cairns broke blind from a scrum, George Graham was on hand to cross for the opening try.
Millar added a second penalty, but before half time Moseley reduced Gala’s lead with two kicks at goal from scrum half Olly Thomas. Ten minutes into the second half Gala added further points after Millar carved out an opening, Craig Keddie provided the link and George Graham finished with prescient support play, Millar converting for an 18-6 lead.
When replacement wing Craig Robertson was sent to the sin-bin, the Midlanders used their extra man advantage to launch a series of attacks that ended with flanker Ben Pons going over from close range.
But despite Gala struggling to win possession in the line-out Moseley were unable to bridge the gap.
Gala: B Turner; G Somerville, C Auld, A Emond, G Young; L Millar, George Graham; L Pettie, C Mackintosh, E McQuillan, C Weir, O Palipoi, C Keddie, Gary Graham, S Cairns. Subs: M Christie, R Anderson, D Marshall, A McLean, D Owenson, C Borthwick, C Robertson.
Moseley: A Carter; S Hunt, C Ryan, C Hayter, B Robinson; B Davies, O Thomas; L Woodfield, A Caves, S Thorpe, A Lockley, L Mather, N Burrows, B Pons, N Mason. Subs: S Wilkes, B Pienaar, B Robinson, B Lawrence, G Hughes.
Referee: M Patton (IRFU).