Rolf Koren had been elected captain for 1949/50 but before the season started, he had taken up an appointment in Singapore and so a great character was lost to the club and Scottish rugby. P H Hyslop took over the captaincy. The club was able to field five teams for the first time since the war, but this strength was not reflected in victories as there was a mid season slump when not a match was won in December and January. This included the New Year tour to Ireland. Younger players began to find their feet and the season ended with a good string of victories and only one loss to Melville College which was a rare event!
The following season, under the enthusiastic leadership of E Anderson, started well with a win against Melville College 26-0, a draw against Heriot’s and further wins against Edinburgh Accies and Edinburgh Wanderers. This culminated in a great victory against Gala 21-0 but the season fell away with the interruption of bad weather. The club finished a credible fifth in the unofficial championship. Over thirty players had played during the season and T G Weatherstone, J C M Sharp and M Robertson had firmly established themselves in the 1st XV. The season ended with a fine win at the Langholm sevens. The winning team was; Weatherstone, Ireland, Foubister, Anderson, Sharp, Ramsay and Robertson.
In 1951-52 the team had moderate success. Good wins against North of Ireland, Watsonians, Hillhead and Heriot’s were the highlights.
The season ended with wins at Gala and Hawick. E Anderson was captain of the Inter-city side that played the touring South Africans. S T H Wright also played in the Intercity and the final international trial while T G Weatherstone was a reserve at the trial match. He was finally capped against England at Murrayfield.
Season 1952/3 was also a moderate year for the club. Injuries, retirals and unavailability robbed the club of its strongest teams. A serious injury to E. Anderson meant that the club lost a great servant to the club and Scottish rugby.
Season 1953/54 was also unsuccessful. The highlight was the Tour to Northern Ireland. The team travelled by charter flight but nearly did not make the tour due to fog! The cost of the flight was £3.12/- They finally managed to fly out and were ‘jet lagged’, losing to North of Ireland 19-10. However, they recovered and won against Ballymena. The tour helped develop team spirit and the season ended with notable victories against Watsonians, Hawick and Selkirk. A major change for the club was the use of numbered jerseys and the sale of programmes, which appeared to stimulate spectator interest. In addition, it was agreed that black shorts should be worn and a supply of stockings in the correct red, gold and black colours were available to the players. No free hand outs in those days! In the the mid fifties the club achieved notable victories without stringing a Championship season together. This was undoubtedly due the international, trial and district call ups which would disrupt the team at crucial times.
In 1955 the club had the honour of supplying the Captain and the Vice Captain to play for Scotland against France. The strength of the club was again illustrated when the Melrose sevens was won in 1956, beating Hawick 11-6 in the final. The winning seven were Ireland, Weatherstone, Sharp, Robertson, Sharp, Relph and Pryde.
J W A Ireland captained the side in 1956/7 but the team was severely disrupted by injuries. Some victories were recorded against Heriot’s, Watsonians and West of Scotland but it was a season of lost opportunities. The Langholm and Murrayfield sevens were won in the spring.
In 1957/8 the club fulfilled its potential. The season proved to be one of the club’s most memorable. The playing membership reached a record level of 92 enabling 5 teams to play every Saturday.
However, the highlight was winning the club championship for the second time since the War. The team was led courageously by W K L Relph. Strangely enough, the season did not start promisingly. Trinity Academicals won the first game 11-8 and a draw was managed with Jordanhill. Aberdeen Grammar were easily beaten but Boroughmuir won 11-3. However, the team seemed to galvanise itself and recovered with wins against Royal High, Melville College, Glasgow High, Kelvinside and Jedforest before coming down with a bump against a strong Heriot’s team who won 13-3 against an injury ridden Stewart’s team. Once again, this seemed to strengthen the resolve of the team. The season came to a climax on the last game of the season against Melrose. Stewart’s needed to win, and, in a dour defensive game, a winning penalty kick by J C M Sharp was enough to secure the Championship.
The Championship team was:
D W McDonald
J W A Ireland
W S Pirie
D S Beveridge
T G Weatherstone
G M Robertson
W K L Relph
A G Sinclair
D D Walker
E A Innes
J C M Sharp
W R Armstrong
N J Carrie
As in 1946/47, the key to the success lay in great team spirit engendered by the leadership of the captain Relph. A very strong pack supplied the backs with sufficient ‘good ball’ to enable an outstanding half back partnership to bring the best from a clever and speedy three quarter line with a rock solid full back behind them. The brothers Sharp were again top scorers, Clark with 119 points ( 5 tries, 22 conversions, 19 penalty goals & 2 drop goals) and Gregor with 78 points from 9 tries, 6 conversions and 3 penalty goals. T G Weatherstone also scored 9 tries.
The following year the playing strength of the club exceeded 100 for the first time and the results reflected this, with the 3rd XV and 4th XV scoring 510 points between them and conceding only 155. The 1st XV started the season well under the captaincy of G M Robertson. However, district call ups again meant that games were lost that should have been won. Indeed, when fielding a full strength team, Stewart’s were a match for anyone in the Championship. However the disappointment of the early season was forgotten when the Spring sevens started. Murrayfield, Hawick and Jedforest were won. The successful seven was Weatherstone, Sinclair, Sharp, Robertson, Douglas, Allan and Sharp. This crowning glory brought the fifties to an end and was probably the high water mark of the club’s success.
|North of Ireland||13-19||Loss|
|West of Scotland||31-3||Win|