Gala maintained pressure on the RBS Premiership leaders, Ayr, after achieving a hard won victory over Currie on a Netherdale pitch cleared of snow by an army of volunteers.
But there was scant reward for this Herculean effort after the game ‘died’ five minutes into the second half following a third front-row injury for Currie, forcing uncontested scrums that changed the dynamic of a game which in the first half had been an attractive spectacle.
“Going to uncontested scrums did for us,” said Gala coach, George Graham, adding: “We were playing off the front foot from powerful scrummaging and then it changed. We didn’t play in the second half and some of our decision-making was terrible. Still, it’s a good situation being disappointed when we win.”
For Currie this was perhaps one that got away. Twice in the first half Currie had chances to score, the best coming from a well directed cross kick by Gregor Hunter that triggered an attack in the Gala 22-metre area, only for centre Simeon James to knock on with the line at his mercy.
Then in the second half, when Currie enjoyed a spell of almost uninterrupted possession, they missed a chance to rumble the ball over and worse, when the unmarked James touched down, his ‘try’ was chalked off for a forward pass. Currie certainly looked eager from the kick-off as their early pressure brought its reward with a penalty goal by Jamie Forbes. But Gala replied with a sublime score. It was triggered by a break from Luke Pettie, but it was the exquisite give-and-take pass by Euan Dods that sent Grant Somerville in for the game’s first try.
Lee Millar, left, converted and then added the extra points to a penalty try for Gala, created by their powerful scrummaging that forced the Currie front row to pop up as the home side went for a score.
A second penalty by Forbes left Gala 14-6 ahead at half time but in a surreal second half the only further points came from a late penalty goal by Millar to seal the win.