Heriot’s had to come from behind to share the spoils with a battling Gala side in a keenly contested encounter at Goldenacre. The champions were outplayed for long spells and could have had few complaints if the Borderers, looking to move away from second-from-bottom spot in the table after five successive defeats, had posted the win.
Indeed, if recent results have had an adverse effect on the mood in the Gala camp, there was little evidence of it in a whirlwind opening 15 minutes in which they dominated possession and territory and also controlled the scoreboard.
A second-minute penalty by Craig Dods was followed by a slick handling move that yielded a try in the corner for Graeme Speirs. Dods struck the post with his conversion attempt but was back on target in 15 minutes, adding the extras after Frankie Robson had pounced on a fumble on the edge of the home 22 and raced in. Gala were showing greater desire and guile at that stage and were well worth their lead.
The champions finally opened their account in 18 minutes when Charlie Simpson gathered his own chip and raced into the Gala 22 then fed Graham Wilson. He was collared just short of the line but managed to feed Jack Turley who completed the job. Wilson converted then exchanged penalties with Dods to leave Gala 18-10 ahead at the interval.
Heriot’s showed greater composure after the restart and Wilson clawed back three points with a penalty. Gala had opportunities to add to their tally but it was the hosts who were next to score. A close-range scrum created the platform for a powerful drive that enabled Struan Cessford to touch down and square matters. Gala had a chance to clinch the win with a penalty four minutes from full-time but with Dods suffering from cramp, the task fell to Rex Jeffrey whose kick drifted wide.