GALA Fairydean Rovers walking footballers returned to competitive action on Sunday in the Tweedvale tournament at Victoria Park, Innerleithen.

Eight teams from throughout the country took part in the event, the first of its kind in Peeblesshire.

Teams were split into two pools of four and Gala’s opening game was against Falkirk.

The Borderers dominated from the start and Jim McLaren opened the scoring with a goal fit to win any game.

"The veteran defender picked up the ball in midfield, strode forward and unleashed a 20-yard thunderbolt which flew into the bottom left hand corner of the net, leaving the Falkirk keeper stranded.

Dave Dewhirst added a second and only some fine goalkeeping from the Bairns keeper kept the score at 2-0.

Next up were Forth Valley and this time Gala’s goalkeeper Ali Paterson was the hero of the hour with a string of fine saves and the game ended goalless.

Gala went into the final pool game against Peebles Reds knowing a draw would see them progress to the semi-finals but things looked ominous when Peebles took an early lead.

Gala’s never say die attitude prevailed though and when the Peebles keeper parried John Webster’s powerful strike, striker John Dodds was on hand to knock in the rebound and the game ended 1-1.

The semi-final against Giffnock Auld Timers was an evenly fought affair until the west coast side took the lead after nine minutes with a well taken angled strike from the right.

Gala continued to press forward and twice hit the post before Giffnock doubled their lead against the run of play and added another in the dying minutes.

After the game McLaren said: “On behalf of Gala Fairydean Rovers I’d like to thank Tweedvale for inviting us to take part in what was a very well organised tournament which was enjoyed by everyone that took part.

“We did better than we thought we would under the circumstances as we were struggling for enough players. The lads were terrific.”

Giffnock Auld Timers won the trophy beating Forth Valley in the final on penalties.

Peeblesshire News: Giffnock Auld Timers with the Tweedvale trophyGiffnock Auld Timers with the Tweedvale trophy

Tweedvale player Bobby Craigie who is also the Walking Football Scotland representative said: “A big thank you to all who took part and based on the success of the day, there is every chance that we will hold a similar event next year.

“Congratulations to winners Giffnock but also to Tweedvale for the success of their first event."

Giffnock’s Martin Jack said: “On behalf of Giffnock SC Auld Timers I would like to thank you and the team for organising a great day of Walking Football in a beautiful setting. 

“We said so on arrival, so it’s not a compliment based on the eventual outcome for us. 

“We Hope to come back again should you decide to run a similar festival next year. 

“It was also good to play against teams we’re not familiar with playing against on a regular basis too.”

Full results: Pool A Tweedvale Reds 1 Forth Valley 2. Gala Fairydean Rovers 2 Falkirk 0, Tweedvale Reds 1 Falkirk 0, Gala Fairydean Rovers 0 Forth Valley 0, Tweedvale Reds 1 Gala Fairydean Rovers 1, Forth Valley 4 Falkirk 1.

Pool B Giffnock Auld Timers 5 Tweedvale Yellows 0, Tranent 1 Carrick 1, Giffnock Auld Timers  0 Tranent 0, Tweedvale Yellow 1 Carrick 5, Giffnock Auld Timers  3 Carrick 1, Tranent 7 Tweedvale Yellow 1.

Semi-finals Giffnock Auld Timers 3 Gala Fairydean Rovers 0, Forth Valley 2 Tranent 1 

Final Giffnock Auld Timers 0 Forth Valley 0. Giffnock Auld Timers won 3-1 on penalties.

Walking football is for the over 50s and anyone wishing to give it a try can just turn up at the thrice weekly sessions at Netherdale.

The sessions are Monday: - 3:30pm, Tuesday: 7 pm to 8:30pm and Thursday: 2pm - 3.30pm

Football boots are required.