Club Rugby Round-Up – 6th October

Gala maintained the pressure on Ayr this week with an impressive 44-20 win away at Dundee. George Graham’s men were able to pull clear in a topsy-turvy game thanks largely to their consistent points machine Lee Millar, who not only gives them options at 10 but is also the best goalkicker in the league. Ayr meanwhile stuttered against a well drilled Accies side at Raeburn Place, once again leaving it late to hold on for a 20-18 win. Melrose beat Boroughmuir 28-19 at the Greenyards and sit in third place whilst just below them Currie kept their hand in with a solid 45-26 win at Stirling County. Aberdeen Grammar’s woes continued at Goldenacre after they were beaten 31-19, Colin Goudie scoring his 66th try for the Nails in an entertaining game.

The big surprise in the National League was Stew Mel’s 14-11 home win over high flying Hawks, with returning Stew Mel captain Scott Brewster making his mark there. This result will have delighted city rivals Watsonians who moved to within a point of Hawks with a 22-13 home win over improving Biggar. Selkirk got a fright in the Border derby at home to Jed, eventually winning 23-19. No such problems for Hawick who beat Hamilton 60-40 in a thriller at Mansfield Park. Kelso slumped to a 29-23 loss at Hillhead/Jordanhill to leave them close to the relegation fight. The fight for survival in that league is set to hot up in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile in  Championship A Cartha continue their relentless march to the title with a 47-5 home win over Whitecraigsto leave them 10 points clear at the top of the table. Dunfermline lost again at home this week, this time 33-16 to Greenock and West are continuing to improve with a 56-36 home win over Ardrossan. Championship B saw an extraordinary 9 try game at the Gytes  in which depite the best efforts of John Coutts and Wille Blacklock (yet again playing his ’last game’!)Hawick YM were eventually beaten 32-29 by Peebles. Musselburgh got things back on track with a 56-15 home win over Lasswade and Howe narrowly beat Murrayfield Wanderers 20-15 with a last minute try.

In the Calendonia Regional Leagues Aberdeenshire remain head and shoulders above with a 26-8 away win at Ellon and Glenrothes stayed top of their league with a 23-15 home win over Grangemouth. In the West the ever impressive Marr rolled over Garnock at home by 61-31 and spare a thought for Cumbernauld who came within two points of winning their first game of the season after the lost 11-12 at home to Wigtownshire. In the East both Livingston and Preston Lodge won over Berwick and Portobello respectively to set up their big clash next week and Edinburgh Northern put in the result of the day with a 85-3 away win at Ross High.

So, despite stuttering slightly in the past couple of weeks Ayr still lead the Premiership and are still unbeaten. Gala are snapping at their heels though and it will be interesting to see how the British and Irish Cup fixtures affect these two sides in the coming weeks.

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