Stewartry club Zooms right back into action
Stewartry Rugby Club held its first ever virtual AGM on Monday, June 29, with 25 members and committee online via Zoom.
President Robin Austin welcomed those present and noted the apologies.
Before the usual business of the meeting Robin expressed and recorded the club’s sadness at the sudden passing of former captain and coach Adam Gray, who also served on the Scottish Rugby Union board, and said the club misses him greatly. He also recorded the sad passing of Sandy Louden, a former captain in the early days of the club.
Robin suggested that his first season had been, to say the least, eventfull. It was cut short with Covid-19 pandemic closing down all sport with Stewartry sitting top of Tennent’s West Region Division One although other teams had games in hand.
The Stewartry Sirens also had a successful season, unbeaten at home and finishing third in the Tennents National League Division One.
The Sarah Beaney Cup also fell foul of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Robin said the gym was also doing well bringing more members to the club. He thanked members and sponsors for their continued support and hoped they would get back to normality soon. The 50th anniversary weekend of celebrations will now be held in June, 2021.
A working group is looking to refresh the club’s development with the new floodlights’ progress held up by the lockdown. They will allow midweek games for blooding young players coming through taking the field against more experienced players. The club wants to encourage the local community to keep fit and good social evenings after matches in the clubhouse.
Robin also thanked the Galloway News for providing space to articulate club activity.
Treasurer Lesley Carnochan referred the meeting to the accounts. She highlighted there had been good bar activity and continued sponsorship from numerous businesses with TAS the main club sponsors.
First XV captain John Picken said it had been an absolute pleasure to captain the team in the club’s 50th anniversary year and what had been an incredibly successful season.
Covid-19 brought the season to an early finish with the possible league winners being between Stewartry, Allan Glens and Garnock.
John’s highlights on the pitch were a first ever Stewartry win over Kilmarnock away from home and a 14-0 win at home to Allan Glens after two heavy defeats in the shield and the league earlier in the season. There was also a narrow win at home for the first time in 14 years over Garnock and the icing on the cake was a record three wins over local rivals Annan, two of them at Annan, all in the one season.
The Blacks completed 21 games with Danny Boyd and John Picken playing in them all. Stewartry won 17, lost four and used 44 players.
Craig Mosey was top scorer with 90 points and Scott Milligan top try scorer with six tries. Stewartry finished the season unbeaten in their last nine games.
John thanked coaches Sandy Currie and David Borland for their efforts, which were much appreciated by the players, and said he had had a brilliant first season as captain with a great bunch of boys.
Sirens captains Claire Manson and Ali Henderson reported on another successful season, although it started with a disappointing decision that meant the Sirens would not be playing in the Premiership.
It was decided by the Sirens at the start of the season that they would try to remain unbeaten at home at Greenlaw which they achieved and scored 514 points throughout the season the most points in the league.
The Sirens finished third in the league after playing 14 games and winning nine with one drawn at home to the league winners Heriots Blues.
Two of the Sirens, Lisa Ritchie and Lizzie Ballentine, also represented the British Women’s Police team in Hong Kong at the Police World Championships playing against teams from New Zealand and Australia. Lizzie is also the most travelled Stewartry player, travelling over to Greenlaw most weekends from Ireland to pull on the Stewartry shirt and a massive thank you from the rest of the Sirens for her efforts.
The appointments for next season were president Robin Austin, vice president James Picken, treasurer Lesley Carnochon, and Iain McDonald taking on the secretarial duties as Ian Steele is standing down after a magnificent 42 years that started in in May, 1978.
Ian was congratulated for his efforts as treasurer and in his many other jobs around the club.
Stewartry first XV captain: John Picken. Stewartry Sirens captains: Claire Manson and Ali Henderson.
Club coaches: seniors – Sandy Currie and David Borland; Sirens – David Thomson and Ally McMorran; development officer – John Muir.
Committee: D Collins, J Low, J Fingland, S Hind, D Steele, S Milligan, R Sanderson, C Manson, J Yates, P Traynor (U18).
Honorary vice presidents: W.O. Chisholme, A Campbell, J Low, G Armstrong.
Honorary life members: J McGowan, J Low, A Campbell, G Armstrong.
For latest Stewartry Rugby Club news see www.www. stewartryrugby.co.uk
Highlight The season saw Stewartry record a first ever win at Kilmarnock
Standing down Ian Steele