Club Rugby Round-Up – 29th September 2012

Before the start of the season some people had pegged Dundee and Aberdeen as possible outsiders for a tilt at the title. Based on last season’s late form and some summer recruitment this didn’t look too wide of the mark back in late-July. Come the fall of Autumn however it is a different story. Grammar sit rooted to the bottom of the league after six games with Dundee above them by five points. Yesterday’s results will have done little to raise spirits in either camp with Dundee falling 40-17 to a rejuvenated Accies side at Raeburn Place and Grammar putting up a good fight but ultimately  losing at home 34-25 to an uncertain Melrose team. The dark lining to a silver cloud for Accies was the broken leg sustained by outstanding young winger Jamie Farndale.

It was business as usual for Ayr but only just against Heriots. The Edinburgh side visited Millbrae and were able to match the men in pink and black physically and pushed them all the way in an epic battle, eventually missing out 17-13 despite Ayr being down to 13 men at one point.  Boroughmuir will have been relived to get a bonus point at home to Stirling County, with hooker George Turner scoring on his Meggatland debut, and Gala are beginning to build up a head of steam following their impressive 37-20 away win at Currie. George Graham and the consistently brilliant Lee Millar making the difference there.

The RBS National League is turning into a two horse race with both Watsonians and Hawks recording solid home wins. At Myreside Sonians beat Selkirk 34-17 and at Hawks it was a handsome victory too as the home side destroyed struggling Jed 51-14. Elsewhere in the division there were away wins for Hillhead, Stew Mel and Hawick over Biggar, Hamilton and Kelso respectively. All three defeated sides are now plunging closer to the wrong end of the table alongside lowly Jed.

Cartha increased their grip on Championship B after a decent 34-20 away win at West but crucially they also saw their nearest rivals Whitecraigs and GHA lose out too. Whitecraigs slipped up away 38-15 away to Falkirk and GHA lost out by 27-26 at struggling Dumfries. The Saints recording only their second win of the season but a big one it was too. In Championship B the big shock of the day came in Hawick where the YM scored an impressive 15-13 win over unbeaten and seemingly unstoppable Musselburgh. YM coach Jammy McFarlane will be delighted with that showing. The other big game went the way of the home team at Howe of Fife beat Peebles 34-23.

Up North, Aberdeenshire reiterated their dominance on the Regional league by annihilating Highland 94-5 at home. Yes, that was 94-5. Gordonians haven’t given up the chase yet though and signalled some intent with a 58-0 home win over closest rivals St Andrews Uni. In the East Livingston and PL continued their unabated progress with home wins over Portobello and Langholm respectively. Their meeting in two weeks’ time is looking like it’ll be a cracker. Inverleith meanwhile won the East Division 3 table topping game against St Boswells 28-20. Finally in the west Marr continued their impressive season with a 61-31 win over Garnock and closest rivals GHK also won, this time 51- 14 at home to Newton Stewart.

It’s that point of the season when we start to see the polarisation of the leagues. After six games it is beginning to look like we can see who will be in a relegation dog-fight and who is looking for the title. Let battle commence.

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