Ste­wartry club Zooms right back into ac­tion

The Galloway News - - Sport - STU­ART GILLE­SPIE

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

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