Marr RFC vs Gala, Sat, 23/04/2016 - 15:00

Marr RFC
10 - 22
Full time
Gala
Saturday, 23 April, 2016 - 15:00 |

Gala got off to a flying start to help them see off Marr in an enthralling encounter on Saturday and retain their BT Premiership place for 2016/17.

The Maroons were in the ‘winner takes all’ play-off match after they finished second bottom in the top flight, while Marr were there because they finished second in BT National League One behind champions Watsonians.

By the time kick-off arrived at Stirling County’s Bridgehaugh ground there was a healthy crowd with fans having made the journey in their droves from the Borders and Troon respectively.

Marr knew that they started the match as underdogs and as a result needed a strong start. They did not get it, Gala scoring a try from the kick-off and then adding another three minutes later.

That put Gala in control, but once Marr found their feet they really did cause problems.

However, they ran out of time and Gala’s players breathed a sigh of relief at the end after they came through the test 22-10.

Gala interim coach, Chris Dalgleish, said: “I am just pleased that we have stayed up and now we have to put this season to the back of our minds and focus on going forward.

We knew Marr were a good side and they threw everything at us, but we got off to a good start and then the guys defended so well when they had to.

“I am proud of them.”

Marr head coach, Craig Redpath, said: “I am disappointed with the start because you cannot give a side of Gala’s quality a two try start.

Once we got into things and played the rugby we know we are capable of I thought we more than matched them. At times we tried to force things though and a bit more composure might have seen us through to a famous victory.”

As mentioned, Gala had got off to the perfect start when they scored a try after 12 seconds.

Ewan Scott’s kick-off was collected by Frankie Robson and he exchanged passes with Euan Dods before Robson went over.

Three minutes later they added their second try when Dods powered over and they were 12-0 to the good.

Marr were shell-shocked, but got into things and started to cause Gala a few problems.

Craig Kolarik was then yellow carded for Marr and Scott’s penalty made it 15-0 to Gala.

However, soon after in the 28th minute, Gala’s Kris Mein was sin-binned and Colin Sturgeon’s penalty made it 15-3.

Before the break, a converted Josh Irvine try made it 22-3 to Gala and it was a long way back for Marr.

Half-time: Marr 3-22 Gala 

Marr needed a quick start to the second-half and got it when Scott Bickerstaff scored his 27th try of the campaign. Sturgeon converted.

The score remained 22-10 heading into the final 20 minutes with Marr still in the game.

Scott then missed a penalty for Gala and Marr began to pile on the pressure.

With five minutes left, Gala replacement Craig Borthwick was yellow carded, but the Borderers held on.

Full-time: Marr 10-22 Gala 

Referee: Lloyd Linton 

Team lineups

Marr RFC
Gala

Backs

15 Gregor Ness
14 Scott Bickerstaff
13 Andrew Mill
12 Colin Sturgeon
11 Stuart Howie
10 Craig Kolarik
9 Grant Baird

Backs

15 Graham Speirs
14 Frankie Robson
13 Dwayne Burrows
12 Alan Emond
11 Keith Young
10 Ewan Scott
9 George Graham

Forwards

1 Andy Kelly
2 Ollie Rossi
3 Fraser Ferguson
4 Fraser Grant
5 Kris Kirk
6 Mackenzie Pearce
7 Ben Johnston
8 Angus Johnston (C)

Forwards

1 Luke Pettie
2 Matt Carryer
3 Chris Keen
4 Chris Weir (C)
5 Opeta Palepoi
6 Kris Mein
7 Euan Dods
8 Josh Irvine

Substitutes

16 William Farquhar
17 David McGrath
18 Mark Allison
19 Ewan Bulger
20 Kyle Vallance
21 Andrew Gault
22 Liam Wallace

Substitutes

16 Richard Tod
17 Lewis Bertram
18 Craig Borthwick
19 Rob Louw
20 Stevie Cairns
21 Simon Fairbairn
22 Rex Jeffrey
There is no points table for this competition.

BT Premiership-National 1 Play-Off latest results

Marr RFC 10 v 22 Gala