1st XV vs West Of Scotland: Programme Notes

1st XV vs West Of Scotland: Programme Notes

Inverleith Angle

We welcome West of Scotland president, John Cameron, his committee and team to Inverleith this afternoon. West of Scotland have contributed greatly to Scottish Rugby over the years. Indeed, one of the SRU stalwarts, West’s Gordon Cairns, has been Chairman of the Championship Committee, and was one of the candidates for the post of Vice President of the SRU at the AGM in July.

Our league is very competitive, with every team – on their day – able to beat everyone else.  I am sure the match today will be close and competitive.

Our season is going well, due reward for the work the club has put in over the summer and following our recovery last season, and we sit second in the league with four wins out of four. Our seconds lost last week against Heriot’s, but they have prepared well for the trip to Boroughmuir this afternoon.

It makes such a difference to club morale when the seconds are going well. It helps numbers at training and adds to the atmosphere in the clubhouse on a Saturday night. There was a move, last season, from the SRU Championship Committee to have mirror leagues. This would mean that, wherever the firsts are playing, the seconds would also play. While the savings in travel costs would be substantial, the fact that the leagues would not have promotion and relegation and might lead to mismatches meant we were not in favour of the proposal.

Our thirds travel along Ferry Road to play Heriot’s. In spite of SRU figures to the contrary, anecdotal evidence supports the theory that there are less people playing senior rugby and, therefore, there are more games in the lower reaches that do not happen. This is a concern for the thirds because we need these guys to provide the critical mass that keeps the club rolling forward – and, therefore, they need games.

Our Annual Ball is to be held this year at Murrayfield on Saturday the 29th of October. The programme includes a meal at 7.30, then the band, Obsessions, will play from 9.30 to midnight. There will be an auction of various items during the evening. Now, why don’t you come? Tickets are £37.50 and available from the committee. We are aiming for 250 and are well on target. The dress is formal (kilts or smart suits) and cocktail dresses.

There are not many rugby clubs that can pull off something like this, so why not support us and come along. Players are attracted to our club and remain with us because of our camaraderie, and you can help, with your attendance. If you have never been, it is usually a great night – so, players, just commit, and tell me or Christina that you are coming  – or even your team manager. Why not ask a girl to partner you – they don’t bite!

The event is for all ages, so, if you are a Mum or Dad, you are also very welcome – you can also pay for junior’s ticket! I am aiming this at the Dads that regularly come and watch and might feel they are not welcome. It will be attended by all ages, so go home tonight and make the arrangements. Saturday the 29th, after the Watsons game – stick it in the diary and email me at gavinATmi-plcDOTcoDOTuk.

The Biggar game marked Stu Ker’s last game for us, meantime, as he has accepted a post in London. He plans to join London Scottish and travels with our sincere thanks and best wishes. Stu has scored 419 points for us, including all the points in our victory at Hartree Mill. Stu has been outstanding for us over the years, playing wherever he is required, and, if we had fifteen Stu Kers, we would have been a Premier 1 side a long time ago. Rob will step into his shoes today, and, as part of our own Cusiter/Blair/Lawson debate, is a very able alternative.    

I would like to thank everyone who turned up at Biggar to support us last week. It makes such a difference to hear the support for our team, particularly at the more intimidating Border grounds, and I know the players and coaches appreciate your attendance.

Today we thank Baillie Gifford for sponsoring our match and for their attendance at our lunch;  we hope they enjoy the match and mingle with many of our past players and other sponsors that are also at the lunch. Please also look at the opportunities that  Wishart, our main sponsors, offer for any building project you might be considering.

I hope you enjoy the match and stay for a refreshment afterwards.

Gavin Calder

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