Glasgow High/Kelvinside 17, Gala 17.

I SUPPOSE when the clubs are fielding reserve sides, with 10 and nine

regulars absent respectively, a draw is an acceptable result.

Whether GHK see it that way when they were seven points ahead with

just two minutes to play, is another story.

It was a game full of total commitment and expression with players not

bogged down by league pressures.

GHK will be pleased they retained their unbeaten record so far this

season. The performance of some of their youngsters introduced will be

particularly heartening with Shaun Little, Angus Kerr, Chris Docherty

and the back row of Craig Easson, Scott Hutton and Rod McLeod, all

showing enthusiasm and skill that would warrant promotion any time the

Old Anniesland club needed them in the run-in towards the second

division title.

Gala, too, will not be displeased with their so-called reserves

slotting in to their total commitment to running rugby.

Eyes were on Gregor Townsend, the fly half surely destined for further

international honours. In a bid to regain full fitness and sharpness, he

chose to play for his club rather than the South against Leinster.

The presence of butterfingers among his fellow backs did nothing for

the Gala cause. Having said that, they did score three excellent tries

to GHK's one and there was definitely cause for thinking what might have


GHK's activity around the pitch and smother tackling warranted the

lead they took in five minutes when Geoff Hawkes was put in by Harry

Bassi after a long pass from skipper Iain McDiarmid. In 15 minutes full

back Bassi stretched GHK's lead.

But Gala were beginning to show their running skills and two tries

came inside two minutes. The ever alert Gordon Waddell got the first by

running on to a Gregor Townsend pass and straightening his run to fool

the GHK defence. Waddell made the second by appearing on the left wing,

making a lot of ground before slipping a pass to Geoff Keen who flipped

the ball over his shoulder to Jim Turnbull for the try.

It took GHK only two minutes following the interval to restore their

lead. Breckenridge missed with a drop attempt but the referee spotted an

earlier offence and from the penalty Bassi did the needful. The full

back was on the mark again in 52 minutes.

However, Breckenridge struck a majestic drop goal from 38 metres and

at 17-10 GHK seemed comfortable. But the Borderers were still full of

fight and with two minutes to play they scored the try of the match.

From inside his own 22, the mercurial Keen took off on a meandering

run over half way, gave to Craig Townsend who brought in Turnbull. The

centre had the ever ready Neil Crooks at his shoulder and the flanker

ran between the posts leaving Changleng an easy conversion to level the


GHK -- H S Bassi; P Manning, S Little, I McDiarmid, G F Hawkes; G M

Breckenridge, A A Kerr; R Hastings, C Docherty, K Houlihan, K A Wilson,

D Mellor, C Easson, S C Hutton, R McLeod.

Gala -- D Changleng; G L Waddell, J G L Turnbull, C Townsend, G W

Keen; G P J Townsend, D Paterson; K Thomson, G G Crosbie, A Johnston, R

Gray, R Hogg, N J Crooks, M A Ballantyne, R Perrett.

Referee -- M White (Leinster).