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Gala 18 Moseley 11: Amateur dramatics

It's been a torrid time for Moseley in the RFU Championship but any hope their fortunes would improve were shattered at a preheated Netherdale as Gala's amateurs produced another impressive performance to deservedly win this third-round Pool 6 match.

Amateur sides playing against professional outfits can often produce one-sided contests but yesterday it was amateur Gala who took the honours with a display of fluent attacking rugby and dogged defence that time and again snuffed out the visitors' attempts at moving the ball.

"It's just what the doctor ordered after our disappointing result against Ayr last week," said Gala's coach, George Graham snr. "We asked them to show character and they did. That's what this team's got in spades. I thought the defensive effort was immense. They deserve their win but we've got another huge game against them next week and we know it will be harder."

Particularly impressive for Gala were half-backs George Graham and Lee Millar. Hopefully they were watched yesterday by representatives from Scotland's two professional clubs, but the chances are that no observers were there.

Graham already has experience of training with Glasgow but the Gala scrum-half deserves more exposure to the professional game. Millar has grown in stature this season to be the pick of No 10s in the Premiership and he too has earned the chance to play at professional level.

Gala drew first blood early on. After hooker Adam Caves had collected a yellow card, Millar put over a penalty kick, and when Steve Cairns broke blind from a scrum George Graham was on hand to score the opening try.

Millar added a second penalty but before half time Moseley cut the deficit with two kicks at goal from scrum-half Ollie Thomas.

Ten minutes into the second half Millar carved out an opening, Craig Keddie provided the link and George Graham finished. Millar converted for an 18-6 Gala lead.

When replacement wing Craig Robertson was sent to the sin-bin, the Midlanders used their man advantage to launch a series of attacks, ending with flanker Ben Pons going over from close range. But despite Gala struggling in the line-out Moseley were unable to bridge the gap, and the Maroons celebrated their second cup win.

Gala: B Turner; G Somerville, C Auld, A Emond, G Young; L Millar, George Graham; L Pettie, C Mackintosh, E McQuillan, C Weir, O Palipoi, C Keddie, Gary Graham, S Cairns Subs M Christie, R Anderson, D Marshall, A McLean, D Owenson, C Borthwick, C Robertson.

Moseley: A Carter; S Hunt, C Ryan, C Hayter, B Robinson; B Davies, O Thomas; L Woodfield, A Caves, S Thorpe, A Lockley, L Mather, N Burrows, B Pons, N Mason Subs S Wilkes, B Pienaar, B Robinson, B Lawrence, G Hughes.

Referee: M Patton (IRFU).

Bruce Gilmour

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