Gala Wanderers 3 –V- Peebles Colts 60 : 2 October 2010

The Colts arrived at Netherdale with a squad of 21 fit players, all determined to push for as much game time as possible. And all of them made a valuable contribution to this result.

This was a clinical performance from start to finish and keeps Peebles in second position in the Borders Semi-Junior League.

The game started in ferocious fashion but Ross Brown soon steadied the ship with a long-range penalty. This was closely followed by Gala getting their only points of the game.

Peebles were executing the game plan and, when Cammy Murray was stopped short, Dalton Hall was available to breenge in. Ross Brown converted.

Another penalty from Brown made the score 3-13 and Peebles were drawing away after only fifteen minutes played.

Gala were prevented from playing quality rugby and the pressure on their backs was evident when Andy Nowlan intercepted to go in under the sticks. Ross Brown added the extras.

Within minutes, David Wills and Dalton Hall conspired to win turnover ball. It was quickly passed through the hands until it reached Ross Brown. He stepped inside and sliced straight through the home defence. He also converted.

Gala were kicking their way out of trouble but only found more trouble with full-back Ruaridh Clinch collecting everything that was thrown at him and invariably setting up a counter-attack.

His latest effort resulted in a Peebles penalty in the Gala 22. A quick tap and go exploited the overlap and new winger Olly Byrne was next on the scoresheet.

James May was on the other wing and was also asking questions of the Gala defence. This was a new back three combination and they didn’t miss a tackle all game.

So Peebles Colts went into the break 34-3 ahead with a solid front row, both second rows making good runs and a back row firing on all cylinders.

Jonny Morris was dictating the game at scrum-half, David Wills was playing his best game of the season and Ross Brown was keeping Gala under pressure by cutting open their defence and keeping them pinned back with searching kicks.

In his first start for the Colts, Matt Macdonald looked as if he’d been playing at outside centre all season, distributing and tackling well.

Changes to personnel started after the break but the rhythm was maintained with Cammy Murray, Richard Lofthouse, Jamie Menzies and Kieran Brown offloading beautifully. This set the platform for the next try scored by Ross Brown. Jonny Morris converted.

Fraser Dale had come on at half-time and was making an immediate impact, particularly in the tackle and breakdown situations.

But it was the next substitution that caught the imagination. Ross Anderson came on for James Cockburn at prop and burst through the Gala line at the first opportunity.

Kieran Clyde then replaced Richard Lofthouse and still the Peebles machine kept it’s momentum. Clyde was particularly prevalent in winning turnover ball and helping to drive the ball forward.

He was also instrumental in the next try when he and Fraser Dale capitalised on quick ruck ball, offloading to Andy Nowlan, Nowlan picked his angle perfectly and brought the score to 3-51. Ross Brown kicked the conversion.

Kieran Brown was then replaced by Josh Muir having put in his best performance of the season, particularly in making big tackles and driving through the opposition.

The last substitution was Adam Haycock for Olly Byrne. Adam is another newcomer and slotted in well on the wing.

With minutes remaining, David Wills cut a great angle and sent in Gavin Pringle. Needless to say, Ross Brown added the extras and brought the final score to 3-60.

A spokesman commented that this was a professional performance from the whole squad. The commitment at training is paying off and this team will continue to improve. The next test is against Melrose Wasps at Hay Lodge and a large crowd is anticipated.

Peebles Colts are grateful for the shirt sponsorship provided by BARC Travel, their preferred transport provider.