Gala Wanderers arrived at Hay Lodge having got their season back on track with some recent good results. Peebles needed to start where they had finished off in the corresponding fixture at Netherdale a few months ago.
It was a nervous start from both teams, Peebles making some elementary mistakes and suffering from a number of turnovers. But early breaks from Ruaridh Clinch and Andy Nowlan kept the visitors on the back foot.
The Gala defence was being stretched by Murdo Anderson & James May and the endeavours of Fraser Dale meant their lineout was also in trouble.
With 20 minutes gone, Peebles stepped up a gear and Ross Brown set up good ball going right from a scrum. Matt McDonald switched it left and the ever-present Dalton Hall created the overlap for Murdo Anderson to finish the move in the corner.
The next ten minutes were, once again, spent in the Gala half with Richard Lofthouse, Jamie Menzies and David Wills prevalent in keeping Peebles going forward. However, this was not a day for converting scoring opportunities !
Just before half time, Dalton Hall broke from inside the home 22. Kieran Clyde and Matt McDonald, bursting through the Gala defence, made further advances. David Wills then took the ball at pace but he was stopped short.
The enterprising rugby continued in the next phase of play. Quick hands from David Wills gave Cammy Murray the opportunity to break the Gala line. He fed to Murdo Anderson who drew his man and put Dalton Hall in at the corner.
Ruaridh Clinch recovered a Gala kick just after the restart and quickly turned defence into attack, breaking at least five tackles in the process. But, once again, Peebles entered a phase of being unable to finish things off.
When they snapped out of this, they looked good. Cammy Murray was next on the scoreboard after some direct attacking and solid rugby from James May, Murdo Anderson and James Cockburn. It was now 15-0.
Minutes later, Jamie Menzies ripped the ball from the big Gala lock and Cammy Murray took the ball down the blind side. Ross Brown supported well and took the honours.
Peebles were now on fire but let Gala off the hook. They used the touchline to great effect, narrowing the score to 20-5.
Once again, Peebles couldn’t capitalise on their dominance – until Fraser Dale took a great lineout ball and the subsequent drive was good enough for Dalton Hall to fall over the line.
Gala finished the stronger side but they had no way through the tackles of Liam Daly, Kieran Clyde and Gregor Cursiter.
This was a solid victory although Peebles had a number of opportunities to really run the screw. Let’s hope they can do this next week when Hawick PSA are the visitors.
Peebles Colts are grateful for the shirt sponsorship provided by BARC Travel, their preferred transport provider.