I hope that this note finds you and yours well, and not drinking fine spirits, whoops sorry that should read and in fine spirits.
I'm going to begin by rambling about my favourite rugby topic, Tour!! There is a tour planned for next year, we are heading off to Estonia for four/five nights where we hope to play a game against welcoming opposition. Please watch the social media outlets where Sam ‘POTS’, will eventually (hint!), post some information.
I am sure that most of you will have been reading with interest about the breakdown of the dual arrangement between Aberdeen Rugby and Aberdeenshire. I must admit it was with a heavy heart that I read about all that has, or has not happened. As they say there are two sides to every story and then there is the truth. I played rugby at both clubs for a number of years and know the individuals involved, they are a decent bunch whom I am sure were trying to do the ‘right’ thing. Unfortunately, rugby could be the loser. The bottom line is that there is a dearth of rugby players in the North East of Scotland, simply not enough to go around. I would also say that Gordonians are one if the closest group of players, and club members, that I have been involved with, hopefully this stands us in good stead moving forward. We are alway looking to involve new players, the doors are always open to those that fancy a change or want to try their hand at the sport.
So, to the last couple of months rugby, it has been a tough one in terms of results for both teams. The first travelled up to play Highland in Inverness fully expecting to play on the lovely new artificial pitch, which would have probably suited us more, however it was not meant to be and we played at the local school pitch. A tough game ensued and was pretty evenly matched and the score line was indeed not a true reflection of the game. We have since played Murrayfield Wanderers, Hillhead Jordanhill, Newton Stewart, which although we were very competitive, and scored a few tries, we lost.
So off to Ardossan Academicals we went, they had just come off a big win against Highland. Ardrossan scored a try in the last minutes of the game to claim a draw, undeservedly so in my opinion.
We then welcomed promotion chasing St Boswells, we were well deserved leaders at half time, however they came back strongly and we didn’t take advantage of the strong wind and St Boswells showed their experience and clinical play to run out winners. An away trip to Glasgow, to play the league leaders, lead to another defeat but the boys were in the game after an hour and stuck in till the final whistle.
Although we've not been on the best of runs, we still gained more experience of playing at this higher level. There is no doubt, in my mind, that we will consolidate and stay in this league. Whenever you move up to a higher level in rugby the pace and skill levels do go up a notch or two. So we will be fine in the longer term. Strength in depth is crucial and when we get over our current spate of injuries things will improve in this regard.
The Jolly Boys have had a mixed start to the season, mainly due to lack of numbers. This has been addressed as we have more players returning from injury and students coming back to the fold. As always, the Jolly Boys play with the best of the Gordonians spirit and attitude. Play hard on and off the pitch…….
Although we put our best team out every week the I must say the amount of injuries being suffered at all levels of rugby is of great concern to me, and indeed us all. Despite, dare I say also having, in keeping with most clubs these days, to deal with a long injury list. Credit to the players that have taken to the field this season, the amount of disruption has been tough but the boys have stepped up and got stuck in. Also a massive thank you to our medical staff for getting the guys fit and back out on the pitch.
Our Pelicans had their first ‘public showing’ at a local rugby tournament where they not only acquitted themselves well but more importantly enjoyed their day. As always, we are gratefully to Lenny Mclean, Bob Fraser and the other coaches, plus the ever-supportive parents. We are certainly building the future of the club and one day we will have a pipeline of talent playing for the senior sides.
Finally, you'll all be glad to read, we are having a supporters day at Countesswells for the Dalziel match on the 2nd of December. More details are to follow but I know the boys get a lift from the crowd at the home games.
Yours in Rugby
Updated 13:22 - 16 Feb 2018 by Ciaran Marshall