End of Season Celebrations!

So that’s it. All wrapped up. We know who are League Champions. We know who are Cup Champions. We know who is in next season’s B&I Cup. We know who is relegated and we know who is coming up. Prem One is in the can for another season.

Melrose nudged and wrestled their way to victory over Ayr and Scott Wight always seemed to be controlling the result. Not even the crazed running of ‘Skippy’ Kelly could snag Ayr a win. Melrose triumphed 29-20 and brought the title back to the Greenyards for the first time in 14 years.

So what does this mean now?

Well, firstly, Ayr’s game against Currie this Saturday becomes redundant because both teams have already qualified for the British & Irish Cup. Currie will probably want to win it but Ayr are likely to wind down as they say goodbye to club talisman Damien Kelly. In truth we are unlikely to see one player dominate Prem One, like he has, ever again.

There is always the Kings of the Sevens, though, and Melrose will probably look to claim that title and the Border League title as well to add to their League and Melrose Sevens trophies. They are expected to do so without the likes of Fraser Thomson who is having another extended trial at Sale and there are strong rumours linking fly-half Scott Wight with a trip down south, as well. Glasgow and Edinburgh are expected to ignore such goings on.

So now we head into a summer hiatus and there could be some moving and shaking from the SRU as they calculate their ‘real’ losses for the pro sides. Once they know which players are out, which pro players are available elsewhere, how much money they have and how many squad places need filled expect to see more Club players signed.

If the pro teams have any sense they would try and intervene in Wight and Thomson potentially turning all Aviva, but there are other names they should be looking at. Try machine James Fleming may be injured but he is the fastest man in Scottish rugby (or at least with Glasgow) and should be given a chance to strut his stuff in the Fiat* League. Also Ayr’s Rob Calhoun is a destructive workhorse and can play 6 or 7. Glasgow look set to opt for Paul Burke, though. Ross Curle also deserves a mention.

Apart from that we have the upcoming World Sevens Series events in London and Edinburgh and I truly hope that no full internationals or pro team stalwarts are drafted into the Scotland 7s squad because it is pointless having a ‘development’ team all season but changing it for the final event. Stick to the plan!

So… it’s that time of year again… the Alternative End of Season Awards from SRB!:

Team of the season; has to go to Melrose. They scored more points than anyone else, won the League and won the Melrose Sevens. Braw all round. Ayr’s Cup and B&I quarter final is still pretty special, mind.

Player of the season; for me it is Fraser Thomson. He always looked dangerous. Wight was a great commander, ‘Skippy’ did what he does, and Curle was impressive on the hoof, but Thomson looks set for a bright future.

Finisher of the season; I hope I’m right, but I think it is James Fleming who scored 22 tries before injury stopped him from playing in the last third of the season…

Coach of the season; Craig Chalmers gets it, but Kenny Murray gets a mention, again, and Peter Wright has done well to get Hawks playing exciting rugby this season and getting more bonus points than anyone else. ‘Chick’ must surely be heading for the pro scene.

Best support of the season; tricky one this, but Ayr get it.

The ‘Rory Baldwin Award’ for most gingers in a team; I’m ashamed to say it’s Heriot’s.

Best aftermatch pie of the season; I’m still searching…

  •   Oh, and before I forget… I have won the family bet. Punishment for the other two?!

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Dundonian Alan has played rugby all over the world for various teams including Dundee High School, Heriot's and the Scottish Club International. Now writing from London he covers all issues international and unreported.