Club Rugby Round-Up – 15th September 2012

Round four of the RBS Premiership and the theme of close games continues. Once again two fixtures were settled within a margin of five points as the gap in quality between the top ten club sides in Scotland gets closer and closer. Ayr however maintained their 100% record with a convincing 39-17 home win over Stirling County. County were missing key personnel in their backline but with the Ayr pack, led by man-of-the-match Nick Cox, in steamroller mode and Peter Jericevich kicking everything they swept the Bridgehaugh men aside. Melrose got back to winning ways with a 22-12 win at Raeburn Place over Accies with that man Fraser Thompson making the difference again.

Those two close games came in the shape of a 37-35 win for Currie over Boroughmuir and Gala ending a 61 year wait to beat Aberdeen Grammar at Rubislaw by a single point, final score 26-25 to the team in maroon. Meanwhile at Goldenacre Heriots proved last weeks win at the Greenyards was no fluke by beating a shaky Dundee side 40-25.

Fraser Harkness inspired Selkirk to beat Hillhead/Jordanhill 26-19 in the National Leagues whilst Darren Gillespie’s first game against Jed since returning to Poynder Park ended in victory for Kelso 25-12 and fellow Borderers Hawick lost out to Watsonians 44-27 at Myreside. Top of the table Hawks beat struggling Hamilton 37-35 on the road and Stew Mel lost by a solitary point at Hartreemill with Biggar edging the encounter 22-21.

Into Championship A and the result of the day was undoubtedly the amazing 20-20 draw between Greenock and Whitecraigs. I suspect the Wanderers will be the happier of the two clubs with that result. GHA suffered an upset by losing 27-14 at Ardrossan and Cartha top the table after a 45 -13 win at Dunfermline. Coach Gavin Blackburn will be keen to turn things around for the Fifers.

Big wins in Championship B for the two stand outs sides so far. Peter Wright and his Pebbles machine won 46-0 at Perthshire with Neil Hogarth bagging a hat-trick of tries. Howe of Fife thumped Morgan 77-0 at home and look in pole position for a tilt at the title. Musselburgh also won to maintain their 100% record, this time beating Kirkcaldy 30-15 in the Kingdom.

St Andrews University made it three from three with a 50-31 win over Ellon and Glenrothes are still looking good with their 53-12 home win over Alloa. In the East Region, Preston Lodge won the big game of the day 30-20 over RHC at the Pennypit whilst Livingston overcame a dogged Langholm side to win 48-21. St Boswells gained the border bragging rights with a huge 77-0 win in Walkerburn, their summer recruits making the difference. Meanwhile in the West it was business as usual for Marr and Kilrmarnock as they both maintained their perfect records with wins on the road over Irvine and Newton Stewart respectively.

So with four imposing wins from four games can anyone catch Ayr? If the trend of the chasing pack nicking very close wins off each other continues then it will be very difficult to stop the Millbrae men. It’s still a long season yet though.

Journalist and rugby player for @LangholmRugby and the @PigbariansRFC, please follow @brodiesmithers