On December 16 Galashiels Academy First XV played the Dunbar Grammar School XV in the Scottish Schools Rugby Plate. They played at Netherdale and Galashiels convincingly beat their opponents 25-10. The match started off with Dunbar putting Gala under heavy pressure, however the home side quickly turned this around when Steven Patterson finished off some quick hands through the backs and scored on the wing. Dunbar instantly came back fighting with a high intensity leading them to score from a pick and go only a few minutes later making the score 5-5. However Gala didn’t let this get to them and gave the same amount of pressure back; this lead to Rory Shepherd making a break towards the try line and offloading the ball to Alistair Crooks where he dived on the line to help give them the lead at the end of the first half. At the start of the second half, the Gala boys kept up the same high level of intensity they had been delivering the entirety of the first half. This helped them get their third try when John Turnbull broke through the tired Dunbar defence. Struan Mitchell managed to convert the try giving the home side a 17-5 lead. After continuous hard work and concentration Gala managed to win a penalty in their opponents half. Struan Mitchell decided to take the kick and managed to get the ball through the posts, despite the windiness. Towards the end of the match John Turnbull scored his second in an almost identical fashion to the first giving Gala a 25-5 margin over Dunbar in the dying moments of the match. Mere seconds later, Dunbar got a lucky break when they scored straight from kick off giving the final score of 25-10. It is fair to say the home side deserved their victory as their high pressure and intensity was clear throughout the entirety of the game helping them achieve the win over Dunbar. Galashiels are now through to the Semi-Final of the Plate where they will be playing St Columba’s School in an away fixture.
By Finlay Watt (S5)