John Kerr

Everyone at Inverleith was shocked to hear of the sudden death of John Kerr on Sunday 17th March.

John was our legal adviser when we changed the rugby club to a limited company, as well as a great club man. He will be greatly missed.

John’s funeral will take place at noon on Thursday 28th March at Stephen’s Church, 10 Comely Bank Road, Edinburgh, EH4 1DW.

The burial will take place at Dean Cemetery at 1.15 pm and there will then be a reception at Inverleith at 2 pm.

Our thoughts are with John’s wife Adrienne and the family at this time.

Bill McNie
President

 

Next Match | AWAY, 23 March v Howe of Fife | Kick off 3pm

1st XV play AWAY v Howe of Fife RFC Kick off 3pm
2nd XV play AWAY v Edinburgh Accies Kick off 3pm

Lindsey Geddes

GAMES CANCELLED @ Inverleith |Lunch Still On | 6 Nations on big screen

Stewart’s Melville RFC
Player Sponsored By

15 Freddie Roddick
Glencairn Properties
14 Sean Murchie
Graham + Sibbald
13 James Ferguson
Haldane UK Ltd
12 Geoff Angco
Calder Family
11 Kyle Dixon
Saxen Ltd
10 Euan Bowen
Calder Family
9 Fraser Strachan
Jamie Frost
1 Chris Baikie
Dreadnought Leith
2 Doug Randall
Barbershop Edinburgh
3 Ruaridh Mitchell
Craneware
4 Jamie Sword
Gav Maclean
5 Fraser Morrison (C)
Hamilton Waste
6 Matt Sanderson
Cello Signal
7 Joe Bailey
Scott Dickson
8 Ruaridh Stewart
Prostate Scotland

Replacements
16 Connor McKay
Parkthorn Gates
17 Cormac McCracken
Calder Family
18 Dave Hampton
Connor Malcolm

Head Coach : Nick McCashin
Team Manager : Andrew Manson

2nd XV announced v Boroughmuir Bears | Saturday 16 March | Kick off 2pm

1 Lewis Wilde
Calder Family
2 Kyle Marshall
Findlay & Marshall Ltd
3 Stephen Spowart
Calder Family
4 Alastair Scott
IntelliDigest Ltd
5 Gareth Henderson
M Henderson Joinery
6 Nick Winton
P Mooney
7 Alexander Wainwright
Keith Dobson
8 David Devlin
Calder Family
9 Christopher Beattie
John MacColl
10 Jack Calder
PMA Contracts Ltd
11 Alexander Beveridge
Bob Bowie
12 Murray Hanning
ReSurge Africa
13 Seb Trotter
Trotter Family Bakery
14 Craig Lamb
Calder Family
15 Stewart Hagart
I. Simpson Agriculture Ltd
Replacements
16 Thomas Petiau
Jamie & Rosie Bruce
17 Daniel Sweeney
Morrison Ground Care
18 Graeme Mitchell
Calder Family

Match Report v Dumfries Saints RFC | Saturday 2nd March

It certainly seems a considerable period of time since I last put together a match report.  My memory may be rusty but I cannot recall such a long lay off between fixtures other than due to the weather.  A break during the season like this can only do one of two things.  It either rests and revives players desperate to get back or there is a loss of momentum, particularly for those in the ascendancy.  I was optimistic that it would be the former rather than the latter as Dumfries Saints came to town for what was anticipated to be a hard competitive encounter.  

We last met on 23 October 2018 – a bit of a family affair, as you probably recall – when we were well beaten, although we did make a late come back in the second half.  For those of you who actually read the match reports, you may recall a comment made therein: ‘their style of play certainly belies their current league position as you would expect them to be much higher up the table if Saturday was anything to go by’.  Well, here we are, and guess where Dumfries are sitting in the table!  Yes, above us with a 2 point advantage.  I was, perhaps, tempting fate when I made that comment, but I think you will agree that it was justifiable.

It was another pleasant rugby playing day at Invers, with the pitch looking particularly pristine and a strong Stew Mel squad which certainly appeared ready for the challenge.  A welcome return for Adam Greig as Dumfries kicked off towards Ferry Road with a considerable breeze at their backs.  Stew Mel gathered well and attempted to move the ball out of their half with a degree of success but unfortunately knocked on in the process.  The first scrum of the afternoon was solid from both packs, and, with the possession going Dumfries’s way, they attempted to go wide but a trademark tackle by Joe Bailey put a stop to any progress and Dave Allan was there, getting his body in a good position over the ball for the turnover, Pocock style.

The wind was proving to be a challenge in terms of territorial gain.  The first lineout of the afternoon for Dumfries was, however, lost as Stew Mel managed to turn the tables.  There was, however, no further need for help as James Ferguson broke through and Momo made significant progress; possession was, however, ultimately lost, allowing Dumfries to kick long.  The ball was well fielded by Adam, who made the yards before Ruaridh Mitchell battered his way forward, with further passes finding Happy and Doug Randall to take it on.  Euan Bowen and Freddie Roddick then danced their way through the opposition with good support from Matt Sanderson. 

With Stew Mel having the majority of possession thus far, it was unfortunate that a penalty came in Dumfries’s favour; the resultant lineout was, however, only temporarily successful as Matt had other ideas and won the ball back – and, with that, a Stew Mel penalty.  Another scrum and it did appear that Stew Mel were showing that they had the upper hand, allowing Fraser Strachan time to consider his options as he changed direction, finding Euan, who kicked through for another short lineout.

After some good forward play, the gusty conditions contributed to a knock on, giving Dumfries an advantage which they took well, making an impressive break down the middle of the park, although the attentions of Sean Murchie and Freddie held things at bay in their own 22.  Dumfries’s attack was certainly far from over, though, and, after a few phases, a scrum 5m out, once reset, allowed them a second bite at the cherry and they drove over for the first try of the afternoon.  15 minutes played, Stew Mel 0 – Dumfries 5. 

At the restart Stew Mel won the ball back, continuing their attack, and, although getting over the line, the ‘try’ was not given.  Now in a good position, the scrum was solid, and a clever kick through by Euan was grounded by Happy, who was also successful with the conversion.  Stew Mel 7 – Dumfries 5, 20 minutes played.  Stew Mel were still enjoying a significant amount of possession as play resumed, with Freddie and Adam making the breaks, well supported by Dave.  Against the run of play, however, the ball was lost and a kick and chase by Dumfries gave them an opportunistic try approximately 25 minutes in.  Stew Mel 7 – Dumfries 10. 

Dumfries thereafter began to gain a bit more territory, making good use of the conditions, and, with a bit of cohesion, pushing Stew Mel back into their own 22.  The lineouts were working in their favour, but, 10m out, they were penalised for crossing, allowing Stew Mel to clear their lines and launch another attack, Matt again showing his athleticism and pace.  Dumfries managed to win possession back, finding themselves a short distance from the Stew Mel try line, but strong scrummaging prevented any further dividends, with Momo securing the ball; Connor McKay was then off on one of his breaks, wrestling with anything and anyone that came his way, well supported by his fellow front rowers.

Although there was a short period of living dangerously, Stew Mel managed to break out back into the familiar territory of Dumfries’s half, and, after good handling from Connor and Doug, with the backdrop of a rainbow and half the pitch baked in sunshine, this eventually lead to a well earned try as James charged over and Happy added the extras.  Half time Stew Mel 14 – Dumfries 10.  

With the wind now at Stew Mel’s back there was an inevitability about the tactics that would be adopted as Euan kicked off.  The ball was not collected well, once again putting Stew Mel in the driving seat with possession and territory an advantage, although Dumfries’s defence was resolute until a penalty came Stew Mel’s way and Happy added the 3 points.  That made it Stew Mel 17 – Dumfries 10 with around 43 minutes played.  It was a good start to the second half and it wasn’t long before the first yellow card of the afternoon was produced, the visitors being the recipients.  With the wind in their faces and down to 14 men, they had a challenge on their hands.  After some scrappy play within Dumfries’s 22, Euan managed to find a way over and was successful with the conversion.  52 minutes played, Stew Mel 24 – Dumfries 10. 

The restart into the wind was never going to be easy and Doug retrieved the footballer’s strike like an accomplished goalkeeper, allowing us to launch another attack deep into Dumfries’s 22.  They regained possession, however, and made headway into Stew Mel’s half, although a penalty and a big boot, wind assisted, gave Stew Mel a favourable territorial position as Kyle Marshall made his way on, Doug heading off for a well deserved rest.  The lineout was clean, Momo taking it on, and what appeared to be a training ground exercise saw Fraser breaking down the blind side then finding Sean, who dived over in the corner for the fourth try and the bonus point.  60 minutes played, Stew Mel 29 – Dumfries 10.

There was a feeling that the Stew Mel screw was now beginning to turn, and, despite a scrappy period of play, we were still dominant.  The pressure was beginning to show as Dumfries’s discipline was being tested, albeit they were fighting for everything they could get and managed to retain possession for a reasonable period.  Another Stew Mel substitution was made as Happy gave way to the experienced Dave Hampton, who always has a lot to contribute at this stage of the game.  The Dumfries pressure continued temporarily as an exchange of knock ons and early engagements in the scrum allowed them a chance to try and get some points, but it was not to be as the Stew Mel bench was emptied, Chris Baikie entering the fray and Ruaridh Mitchell coming off.  With 65 minutes played, a forward pass prevented progress but possession was soon regained and Fraser touched down for another try, converted by Euan.  Stew Mel 36 – Dumfries 10. 

Dumfries then coughed up another yellow card and there was a feeling the game was now wrapped up as Stew Mel were, again, the beneficiaries of another score, this time by Freddie, converted by Euan.  70 minutes played, Stew Mel 43 – Dumfries 10.  Dumfries were still in the fight, looking for that consolation try which they probably deserved, but Stew Mel were equally ruthless in their attack, giving Adam Greig the final say of the afternoon.  Final score Stew Mel 48 – Dumfries 10.

A good win which sets us up nicely for the last three games of the season, the big one being on Saturday 16 March against Highland.  The conditions on Saturday were difficult but it was a case of who adapted to them best.  The game management was exemplary and even, dare I say it, the kicking game (well, for the most part) worked!  Hands were generally good and the forwards linked well, with an abundance of penetration, particularly in the middle of the park.

The back row of Matt Sanderson, Joe Bailey and Dave Allan produced, I think, their best display this season, the front row as always did what they all individually do best and the second row with Momo leading the charge did their job effectively.  With this platform, where do you think all the scores came from?  Yes, the backs, but they didn’t by any stretch of the imagination steal the limelight.

It was quite a turnaround from the last encounter at Park Farm.  Dumfries, to be fair, had their injury woes and the yellow cards don’t help when you are already on the back foot and playing into a strong wind.  They fought to the bitter end and all credit to them for that, their star performers again being Ewan Miller and Sam Hiddleston.  All sentiment was, however, put aside on Saturday – this was no family affair!

Kevin Murchie

Match photo c/o Libby @ OG Blakeman Photos

Team Announced v Dumfries Saints | Saturday 2 March | Kick off 3pm


15 Freddie Roddick
Glencairn Properties
14 Sean Murchie
Graham + Sibbald
13 James Ferguson
Haldane UK Ltd
12 Euan Morrison
The Wee Restaurant
11 Adam Greig
Prostate Scotland
10 Euan Bowen
Calder Family
9 Fraser Strachan
Jamie Frost
1 Connor McKay
Parkthorn Gates
2 Doug Randall
Barbershop Edinburgh
3 Ruaridh Mitchell
Craneware
4 Jamie Sword
Gav Maclean
5 Fraser Morrison (C)
Hamilton Waste
6 Matthew Sanderson
Cello Signal
7 Joe Bailey
Scott Dickson
8 Dave Allan
Bill McNie

Replacements
16 Kyle Marshall
Findlay & Marshall Ltd
17 Chris Baikie
Dreadnought Leith
18 Willie Malcolm
Parker Pest Control
19 Dave Hampton
Connor Malcolm

North Edinburgh Vikings – New Strips

The North Edinburgh Vikings recently had their first run out in their new strips. As you can see, there are two colour schemes to choose from, and the boys chose the light blue to match the sunny Kelso skyline as our combined U15/16 team played Kelso at Poynder Park on Sunday 24th February.

The strips must have inspired the boys as they played some cracking rugby, and, as some of us older gents know, it’s not easy to get a win down at Kelso. Let’s hope the good form continues!

Final score Kelso 7 – 50 North Edinburgh Vikings

Bill McNie

Mike Sims

We have sadly lost another well kent face from Inverleith. Mike Sims, a former pupil of Daniel Stewart’s and no mean rugby player in his day, passed away suddenly yesterday.

Mike served two terms as President of the Rugby Club, where he was always a welcoming presence and very well respected in rugby circles.  One of the founders of the StewMel Lions, Mike has given many years of loyal service to the Club.

As Chairman of the Board of Governors of ESMS for six years, Mike has also contributed hugely to the wider ESMS family.

The Club send their sincerest condolences to Mike’s wife, Joan, and daughter, Nicola, and family.

Mike’s funeral arrangements are confirmed as Wednesday 6th March 2019 at 11 am at Mortonhall Crematorium for those that are able to attend.

Bill McNie
President

Match Report v Peebles RFC | Saturday 26 January

It was never going to be easy at the Gytes, and, despite the previous result at home, a tough encounter in damp conditions was anticipated. Tough it was, and, regrettably, we left without even a losing bonus point, which was probably deserved – if not more. But that’s rugby.

It’s an interesting game when one team has 90% possession (slight exaggeration, of course, but you catch my drift – we certainly had the majority of it), a dominant scrum and a significant amount of territory – and don’t come away with a win! On the flip side, however, Peebles put up a mighty defence, and, despite all of SM’s attacking opportunities, maybe, in hindsight (once referred to as the philosophy of fools), we should have varied the ‘pick and go’ and attempted to use width – but it was not to be.

With a pretty settled back line, the only change being Kyle Dixon on the left wing, there were a couple of changes in the back row, with Matt Sanderson and Alex Wainwright coming in at numbers 6 and 7, respectively, to keep Dave Allan company.

SM kicked off and it wasn’t long before the first lineout of the afternoon at the half way line (the shortened version). Momo and Ruaridh Mitchell combined well to drive into Peebles’ half, aided by Dave Allan, but, with a slippery ball, the knock-ons were inevitable. The first scrum of the afternoon saw SM produce an emphatic drive and take one ‘against the head’, which is certainly uncommon in modern day rugby. A kick through by Fraser Strachan gave some good field position with the lineout 10 metres out, but the offside line was breached, giving Peebles, after a long kick downfield and a cleanly taken lineout, the opportunity to drive over the line for the first try of the afternoon. 10 minutes in, Peebles 5 SM 0.

At the restart SM found themselves back in a familiar position, 10 metres out from the Peebles line, but, after some good forward play (by Chris Baikie in particular), a penalty was unfortunately conceded. Another opportunity missed and more good field position for our hosts; the lineout was squint, though, enabling SM to gain vital territory of their own courtesy of Happy, Momo and Doug Randall. We were then awarded a penalty in a kickable position – 15 minutes played, Peebles 5 – SM 3.

It wasn’t, however, long before Peebles found themselves in a similar position to take the 3 points on offer; 20 minutes in, Peebles 8 SM 3.

After some good progress down the right wing by Sean Murchie, well supported by Doug, SM were unlucky not to see points materialise, and, unfortunately, Dave Allan succumbed to what looked like a shoulder injury, ending his illustrious afternoon. Peebles were finding it hard to get out of their own 22 as the pressure from the SM forwards, in particular, mounted, and a combination of this and clever kicking from Fraser kept our hosts penned in until the inevitable penalty gave them some respite.

The Peebles lineout was again adjudged to have been squint, and, with the impetus then coming SM’s way once more, Kyle Dixon managed a nice break on the left wing before eventually being ushered into touch. Again Peebles tried to escape from their own 22, which they eventually did – and, after an apparent high tackle, they won another penalty. Another squint lineout led to a scrum in SM’s favour but the man with the whistle prevented any further progress. This time Peebles were given the chance 10 metres out and rumbled over after several phases. 30 minutes played, Peebles 15 SM 3.

SM were soon back into that familiar position within the Peebles 22 once more, but we were struggling to make any progress and the long anticipated try didn’t come before half time.

A second half comeback? There was certainly optimism, given the possession and territorial advantage we had enjoyed in the opening period, and after a similar pattern of play, a yellow card shown to one of the Peebles forwards was quickly exploited, with Ruaridh driving over for the try. This was awarded even though the man on the Tannoy was perhaps exploiting his position somewhat by suggesting that there had been a knock on. Thankfully there was another man closer to the action on the pitch referred to as the referee!

The clean kit of the substitutes was now clear to see on the business side of the whitewash. Thor, Connor, Dave Hampton and the not so clean Kyle Marshall (as the bench was now fully emptied) all started to have a significant impact, and, with Peebles a man down, the pressure eventually lead to a well deserved penalty try. With about 15 minutes to go, it was Peebles 15 SM 17. At the restart Peebles managed to find a way back into SM’s 22 and retain that all important possession. Following a lineout 5 metres out courtesy of another penalty, a try came their way at around the 70 minute mark. As time was running out, SM were, once again, trying to break down that brick wall, but, as further progress was prevented, Peebles were the lucky recipients of a kickable penalty, against the run of play. This gave them a crucial 3 points and extinguished any hopes we had of at least a losing bonus point.

Final score Peebles 25 SM 17.

A frustrating afternoon for SM, but plenty of positives to be taken. The boys demonstrated the rugby that they are capable of playing, regardless of the conditions, and were unlucky not to have capitalised on the amount of pressure we exerted, particularly when camped 5 metres out for significant periods. As said in my preamble, varying the tactics might have worked but what was on display was certainly not for the faint hearted as the Peebles line was attacked relentlessly. James Ferguson made significant inroads and Matt Sanderson, in particular, never seemed to run out of steam. Credit must, however, go to Peebles for their defensive effort, which effectively gave them the upper hand – and, of course, when they found themselves in the red zone, they made sure of the points.

Some interesting results in this league and still lots to play for with four games left, starting with Dumfries on 2 March. Three of those four games are on our hallowed turf at Invers. It’s not over until it’s over!

Kevin Murchie

Match photo c/o Libby @ OG Blakeman Photos

1st XV to play Peebles Saturday 26 January @ Peebles, Kick off 2.30pm

15. Freddie Roddick
Glencairn Properties
14. Sean Murchie
Graham + Sibbald
13. James Ferguson
Haldane UK Ltd
12. Euan Morrison
The Wee Restaurant
11. Kyle Dixon
Saxen Ltd
10. Euan Bowen
Calder Family
9. Fraser Strachan
Jamie Frost

1. Chris Baikie
Dreadnought Leith
2. Doug Randall
Barbershop Edinburgh
3. Ruaridh Mitchell
Craneware
4. Jamie Sword
Gav McLean
5. Fraser Morrison
Hamilton Waste
6. Matt Sanderson
Cello Signal 
7. Alex Wainright
Keith Dobson
8. David Allan
Bill McNie

Replacements
16. Kyle Marshall
Findlay & Marshall Ltd
17. Connor McKay
Parkthorn Gates
18. Alex Rappestad
Euan Simpson
19. Dave Hampton
Connor Malcolm

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