Saints help Nithsdale Young Farmers to cup final
A keen team of Lower Nithsdale Young Farmers travelled to Livingstone rugby club on Sunday 19th April on a good firm pitch in glorious sunshine to participate in the LN Club’s first ever sevens tournament. The team included four who play rugby every week, two who play when they can and four who have never played. This national competition in its fourth year consisted of nine club teams from the as far as Aberdeen, Fife and Kinross and Biggar.
Lower Nithsdale’s first game was against Callander. The first blood went to Minty with the first of many tries while Alan Rae was also bloodied with a broken nose during a ruck. James Currie took control and helped to guide the team. The score finished at 12-12. This was a great boost to the boys and a promising start to the tournament for these novices. The boys went into their next game with a new confidence against Angus Tayside. This game saw Ross Mair score his first ever try while Minty continued to notch up 3 more tries. The winning score for LN was 26 -12.
The boys were surprised to be still in the running as they met Aberdeen in their third game. Alan Rae shone at the restarts while Ewan Burgess and Ross Mair were a striking combination with their jinky runs keeping the opposition and sometimes their own team guessing. This tactic earned Ewan Burgess a try. The boys on the bench had more opportunities in this game which saw George Brough score his first ever try. The final score 28-15.
By the forth game against Avondale, the team had clicked and showed a strong commitment to succeeding. Lewis Harkness had many chances to steal and turn the ball over while Yurie Hanekom’s work rate with his tackling and support play was rewarded with a try. The score of 42-7 reflected the team effort.
The boys were stunned but elated to be in the semi-final as the top seed in their group against Fife and Kinross which was made up of some of Howe of Fife and Kinross first team players. This game saw Stuart Burgess turn in a captain’s performance with tacking, turning over balls and line breaks. LN scored first and continued to keep the pressure on their opposition. Lewis Harkness put in a try saving tackle from LN’s 5 metre line. After this LN was constantly in the opposition’s half which was reflected in the full time score of 31-0.
LN found themselves in the final against an experienced Biggar side which contained Premier 2 league players who had a definite size advantage. LN gifted them two tries straight away. All the boys were given a chance in the second half which saw great play from George Brough and a fearless Jamie Young as he brought down some of the big Biggar players. The final score was a win for Biggar of 28-0 as LN took runner-up place.
Graeme Minty was named as one of the top four players of the tournament with 11 tries. This was a fantastic day with an unexpected result but tremendous effort for the inexperienced LN team who are looking forward to next year’s competition. Special thanks go to Jen Wilson and Louise Bodger who acted as water bottle runners, physios and cheer-leaders.
Lower Nithsdale team: James Currie*, Lewis Harkness*, Jurie Hanekom*, Graeme Minty*, Stuart Burgess* (C), Alan Rae, Ross Mair, Ewan Burgess*, George Brough, Jamie Young. Players marked * are Saints
The Lower Nithsdale seven