Hawick Royal Albert 0 Gala Fairydean Rovers 2
There were few frills, spills or thrills as well as a lack of goals until the closing quarter hour of the game and this derby clash was more of a damp squib than a firecracker.
Gala Fairydean Rovers manager Steven Noble was nevertheless a contented man as his troops had did the job they set out to do in gaining the bragging rights by picking up three precious league points.
The Netherdale men deserved their win.
Gala had the edge throughout the match, were the better and stronger side and had they capitalised on the chances that fell their way, would have won by a bigger margin.
Reflecting on matters, Fairydean team boss Noble said: “We brought an end to a disappointing run in getting a win and I am pleased for the players.
“They put in a good shift, worked hard and got their rewards.
“Hawick are an improved team under their new manager and made it hard for us. We were on top for most of the game but Hawick defended well and we had to be patient. This worked for us as we kept plugging away and got two goals late on”.
Hawick manager Craig Tully said: “For 75 minutes I thought we were in with a chance of getting a result. It wasn’t to be, though, but although we lost, we are starting to improve but have a long way to go yet”.
Gala began in a promising manner and after Hawick keeper Craig Saunders had pulled off a save from Billy Miller, Lee Stephen blasted a shot over the bar in Rovers next attack.
Stuart Noble then had a goalwards effort blocked by Albert’s trialist central defender, Frenchman Rodrigue Nanitelamio.
Apart from Curtis Rose rifling a free-kick over the bar at the other end, Gala were looking the likelier side to score and after weaving his way inside with a jinking run, Jamie Gullan had a shot held by Saunders.
The visitors continued to push forward and Gullan and Rhys Craigie both came near to scoring.
Rovers No.1 Lewis Muir then saw his first piece of serious action in making an excellent save when spreading himself to block a David McGachie shot after the Albert midfield man had broken clear.
Towards the interval, Saunders thwarted Gullan with a fine stop.
Gala began the second half strongly and Scott Main sent a header over the bar on meeting a Darren Smith corner kick before Ross Aitchison squandered a good chance.
After Hawick trialist striker Michael Wallace, a former East Stirlingshire player, had skyed an effort over the bar, Gala had a string of opportunities to break the deadlock which they failed to put away.
In the 75th minute, however, a goal eventually arrived. Albert lost possession in midfield and Smith sprayed a pass to Miller, who in turn fed Gullan and the on-loan Hibs youngster cracked home an angled shot.
With three minutes remaining Fairydean sealed victory, Miller seeing to this, in finding the top corner of the net with a perfectly struck free-kick.
q Hawick Waverley and Hawick United marched into the final of the Border Cup with excellent semi-final victories.
Waverley defeated Gordon 3-1, Davis Hope , Jordan Yardley and Taylor Hope the Waverley marksmen.
Ross Scott, Robbie Kelly and Kevin Strathdee netted for United in their 3-1 triumph over Tweeddale Rovers.
Hat-tricks from Andrew McFarlane and Scott Duncan as well as strikes from John Shankie, Mark Young, Euan Thomson and Charlie Mitchell steered Hawick Legion to a 10-0 win over Melrose in the Waddell Cup
In the same competition Hawick Legion Rovers went down 3-1 to Duns Amateurs.
Ian Turnbull was the Rovers scorer.