Rugby: Defeat at Gala dents Currie bid for third

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Currie’s grip on third spot in the RBS Premiership loosened after the Malleny Park men went down 17-6 against title aspirants Gala at Netherdale.

Although hopes of challenging for the silverware evaporated some time ago, Ally Donaldson’s side still have qualification for next season’s British & Irish Cup firmly in their sights.

They had opportunities to take something from the game but eventually left the Borders empty handed and with a lengthy injury list, particularly in the front row where the loss of three players led to uncontested scrums.

Jamie Forbes slotted two penalties for the visitors while Gala’s powerful scrum earned a penalty try and former Currie man Grant Somerville also touched down, while Lee Millar was on target with both conversions before adding the only second half points through a last minute penalty.

In the RBS National League, Watsonians suffered another blow in their bid to climb back into the top flight when they went down 8-6 away to Selkirk. A penalty either side of half time by Brian Walls ensured a desperately tight finish, but the Myreside men had to settle for a narrow defeat bonus point and now lie second, three points adrift of Hawick who posted a bonus point win over Kelso. Glasgow Hawks are a further two points down in third spot but have two games in hand.

’Sonians meet Currie in the Regional Cup this week and next on their league schedule is a Capital derby at home to Stewart’s Melville on February 9. The Inverleith men hinted that they will be ready for that encounter when they continued their upturn in fortunes with a bonus point 31-23 win at home to Hamilton. The hosts reached the break with a 20-13 advantage after Shannon Durant, Craig Marshall and Chris Damsteegt touched down for tries, while Mike Hanning added a conversion and a penalty. However, the visitors staged a fight back, and the scores were tied at 23-23 with ten minutes to play, with the additional StewMel points coming courtesy of another Hanning penalty. And the stand off slotted another three pointer to nudge the hosts in front once more before Damsteegt bagged his second try to seal the bonus point.

Murrayfield Wanderers took the honours in the only match to beat the weather in RBS Championship B when they saw off Kirkcaldy 28-20. Barry Turnbull, Stewart Gray and Adam McFarlane had a try apiece, while Chris Rhodes and Chris Beattie shared the kicking duties to supply the other points. Wanderers coach Bruce Aitchison said: “I was pleased with the win and some of the spells in the game where we showed great discipline but disappointed we didn’t finish them off and get a bonus point.”