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Friday, 19 September 2014

Battling display by Colts

TYNEDALE Colts put in a brave display against league leaders Gala Wanderers before falling away in the final 10 minutes.

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Martyn Steel makes a break during Tynedale Colts’ defeat to Gala Wanderers.

The superior fitness levels of their visitors pushed on to give the scoreline a flattering margin of 18 points.

In a terrific first half performance, Tynedale played all the rugby as they drove hard up the middle of the Galashiels half.

But they found themselves behind when, against the run of play, a spilled ball was turned over out wide, allowing Gala their only chance of the half which they finished in the corner despite brave tackling. Their excellent number 10 converted.

Stung by this, Tyne roared back with multiple phases leading to Rob Kellaway barging over with three Gala players on his back and the rest of the Tynedale pack adding weight. Nick Cairns converted.

A notable performance of the first half was that of loosehead prop Ed Craney, the leader of Tynedale’s pack, who kept Gala’s giant tighthead Robertson quiet all day.

His talented opponent had recently been selected for Scotland U18 but was not given a sniff by the constant hard work of Craney.

Tynedale started the second period full of confidence and continued to pressure the Gala defence.

The away side eventually folded with Kellaway again driving over to put Tynedale into the lead, with his score again converted by Cairns.

This galavanised the Gala team, though, and they sensibly avoided the stronger Tynedale pack and used their faster wide players to good effect to score three unanswered tries, one of which was converted, to give them a 24-14 lead.

But the home side were not out of the game and they replied with the pack driving hard up the right touch line.

Gala managed to clear their lines but, from the resulting line out, Jake Sloan put Cairns into a hole from a well practised move, and the number eight easily outpaced the defence, before converting his own try.

Trailing by just three points, Tynedale’s hopes of overcoming their high flying hosts were dashed as they could not match the fitness levels of their guests.

Buoyed by fresh legged replacements, Gala again resorted to pace and width to score two further tries, one converted, and a disputed penalty to give a distorted look to the scoreboard.

Colts will take heart from their battling performance into tomorrow’s away day at Peebles, which kicks off at 2pm.

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