Down Inverleith Way 21

Down Inverleith Way 21

Inverleith was graced with rugby royalty last Saturday. At the pre-match lunch, it was a pleasure to meet both the Alldritt and Sword families, with their sons (Scott and Jamie, respectively) having played such a significant part in the club’s progress this season. It is to be hoped that they enjoyed their afternoon and that we will be able to welcome them to many more Stew Mel matches in the future.

Joining the Alldritts was youngest son, Gregory, who came to see how rugby should be played before turning out for France against Scotland at the BT stadium. He also took time out to speak to the hard-working ball boys and girls and can be seen here photographed with Murray MacColl.

It was a special day for Murray. Not only did he meet a French Internationalist and see the RBG winning their league game, he was also part of the Primary 5 team that achieved a narrow victory over fierce rivals, Heriot’s, in the morning!

Scott (Alldritt) also managed to appear at Murrayfield when he was interviewed with oldest brother Tom on BBC television before the match. It is rumoured that Chairman Fin is in touch with Stade Rochelais about Gregory, and that President Simon is checking out Tom’s credentials as more than one person commented that, with that stature, he might also be able to do a job at Inverleith!

The lunch also provided the opportunity to, once again, acknowledge the support and backing provided by so many people and organisations. It takes a great deal of time, effort and money to keep an amateur club’s head above water and it is good to see so many families involved. The present feeling of optimism and enthusiasm is in no small part due to their involvement.

‘The Bear’ from Goldenacre provided the entertainment for the diners and £700 was raised for bar manager Denise Mitchell’s chosen charity, St Columba’s Hospice, over the course of the day.

And so to the match against Whitecraigs (won 69-5). After the storm of the previous week, it was pleasant to watch a contest where survival from hypothermia was not the main order of the day! Although windy, the rain held off and the RBG produced a dominant performance to score no less than eleven tries.

With the bonus point in the bag after 20 minutes, the home support was able to observe proceedings with a slightly lower heart rate than has become customary. Some scintillating rugby was played, with great interplay between backs and forwards, complemented with an attacking intensity for the full eighty minutes.

Slight criticism may be that the defence lacked a certain urgency in the initial contact situations and that the handling was a little careless at times, but … ! Kevin Murchie will be working overtime to report the details of this game.

It was great to watch Jamie Thompson getting his first score for the Senior XV, and very encouraging to see Stephen Spowart, Ben Dollery, Ally Scott, Mike Miller and Geoff Ango stepping up seamlessly from the Development team.

Much credit also goes to the men from Newton Mearns. Points were never scored easily and they strove to play positive rugby at all times. Their intent was to get the ball wide at every opportunity, and, especially in the first half, their two dangerous wingers threatened the Stew Mel line on several occasions.

National 2 continues to be a very tight affair and it looks like promotion will go right to the wire. Peebles are coming up hard on the rails, Dumfries have put themselves right back in the mix after an exciting last gasp win over GHK and the Old Anniesland men, with games in hand, are still in a strong position.

Next Saturday sees Newton Stewart visiting Inverleith (kick off 1.30 pm) and they have proved to be a very competitive outfit, recording some significant results throughout the season. As ever, Momo and the boys would appreciate your support.

The Development XV completed their league season on Saturday with a 50-14 win over Boroughmuir at Meggetland.

A quick start saw the RBG take an early 7-0 lead but Boroughmuir came straight back to tie the scores. Further tries for Stew Mel, however, saw half time arrive with us enjoying a 19-7 lead. The second 40 minutes saw the team putting in a superb performance featuring some wonderful interplay between all 15 players. Try scorers on the day were Alex Rappestad (2), Matt Sanderson, Neil Armstrong, Matt Pleass (2), Mark Leckie and Cian Smith. Jack Pennell kicked three conversions with Stewart Hagart claiming a further two.

A record of played 18, won 10 and lost 8 means the team currently occupies third position in the league but final placings will only be known at the end of March once other clubs have completed their fixtures.

Great credit for a successful campaign must go to the Team Manager (David Calder) and the Coach (Dave Hampton). Running the reserve team can be a thankless task but it is one that is absolutely necessary for the health of any club. Mention has already been made of some of the players contributing to the 1st XV and there are others who should be, or already are, perfectly capable of gracing Pitch 1. There has to be somewhere to step up from!

Finally, Charlie Simmonds, the Senior 1st XV full-back, is laid up at the moment. Everyone at the club wishes him a speedy recovery.

See you on Saturday!

Phil Waine

Match photograph c/o Jax MacKenzie Photgraphy

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