Following their win the previous week against top of the table Selkirk, our Gents team knew that a top 4 place was virtually guranteed although mathematically they still needed a point from their last three games to put the question beyond any doubt. The Gents had an added incentive as they travelled to face Gala A knowing that a win would see them leapfrog their hosts into second place in the Division 2 table.
On a damp and dreary night in Galashiels (and sometimnes dark!) the match was fiercly contested between the two sides. Added into the melting pot was a little bit of niggle following various complaints from some members of the Gala Team as to the later than 6.30 pm start of the match. Words were exchanged before even stepping on the green!
First to finish were McGeoch, Atkinson, Hogarth & Wilson. They got off to a dreadful start and after 11 ends trailed by 13 shots to 3. In a match where every shot was vital, the Lauder side rallied briliantly to win 5 of the last 6 ends, only losing out by 14 shots to 11.
McDonell, Gillie, Weir & Gilchrist had a topsy turvy night, 5-2 and 9-4 up they let that lead slip and trailed 14-12 after 11 ends. They too finished strongly with 8 shots in the last 6 ends to give the visitors a good 20-17 victory.
Two matches gone and the scores were level across the board. Davidson, Moorhead, Nisbet & Ainslie had one of the tightest matches of the night. At no point was there more than a couple of shots difference between the teams and going into the last end the scores were tied at 11-11. Unfortunately a two for the Gala quartet gave them a 13-11 win and a two shot advantage overall.
The last match to finish involved a Lauder triple, the team having travelled a player short. With a quarter of their shots to be knocked off, Landells, Young & Hutton knew that a big win was needed from them. Although they only won 10 out of the 17 ends, the Lauder trio scored heavily on a number of those ends and as darkness came the stormed to a 24-10 win (18-10 following the relevant deduction).
In the end this was a great win for Lauder by 60 shots to 54. There were more grumbles from certain Gala players about finishing in the dark but hold on a minute - the stats don't lie - by the time the last match ended, it appears that it was Lauder who were effected more by the lack of daylight - in the Hutton match, the Gala rink doubled their score in the last 5 ends of the night! Maybe some sour grapes from some....
The last two weeks have seen top of the table Selkirk and then 2nd placed Gala toppled - if only there were a few more weeks left of the season the title may still have been within sight. As it is, Selkirk also won on Wednesday night and the two point gap to the top remains with two matches to go.