Aberdeen Grammar 15 - 34 Gala: Gala stay on track

Opeta Palepoi. Picture: Neil Hanna
Opeta Palepoi. Picture: Neil Hanna
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GALA kept themselves on track for the Premiership title with this away victory, but they had to rely on a last-gasp touchdown to give them a vital try bonus point, which, given the Border side had led 21-0 after only 20 minutes, was nothing like the form expected of champions, writes Jack Nixon at Rubislaw.

Aberdeen Grammar were left chasing the game after a series of dropped passes, poor clearances and general sloppiness had enabled Chris Auld, Ewan Scott and Opeta Palepoi to run in simple tries, all converted by Scott, inside the first quarter of the game.

Given the scale of the task they faced at that stage, the Rubislaw side did well to battle back, grabbing a lifeline right on the stroke of half-time when Sam Knudson raced in for a score, totally against the run of play.

The stand-off converted his own face-saving try, setting the scene for an improved showing from the home side.

Five minutes into the second half, winger Erlend Oag scored the best try of the game to give the homesters hope.

Knudson missed the conversion, but was on target with a penalty in 52 to make it 21-15, and the prospect of an astonishing comeback.

A neck injury to Russell Anderson, the Gala replacement hooker, stopped the game for 12 minutes, during which time the Netherdale side regrouped, giving replacement stand-off Gregor Mein the opportunity to drop a goal before Gary Lowrie charged over for his injury time try, converted by Scott.

Mein had the last word, slotting his second drop goal, though the game was well won by then.

Anderson was fit enough to join his team-mates for a muted celebration, leaving Grammar to contemplate a play-off game or worse to avoid relegation.