Summary of Season 2016-17

This has without doubt been one of the most exciting and entertaining seasons that many of us ‘old brigade’ can remember. A tough start with players unavailable and only 1 win and 3 defeats after 4 games. But what a fantastic side emerged after such a poor start.

After defeats to RHC, Dalziel and Lasswade the coaches were delighted to see the return of numerous injured and unavailable players. The efforts of the players and coaches thereafter resulted in an exciting 18-18 draw for the match against eventual league champions Dumfries.

It also saw the unveiling of our  new electronic score board, so generously donated by the Gibson Family, for which the Club is extremely grateful.

That 18-18 result set the team up for the rest of the season and they were unbeaten at home from that day on.

In subsequent matches the team grew in confidence and skill, and were a joy to watch and the many loyal supporters who braved some cold winter days at Anniesland were rewarded with some outstanding rugby as a result of some superb handling between forwards and backs.

The visit to Inverness was a memorable day with a large travelling support being treated to some great rugby, and in spite of some apprehension from our supporters that this could have been a really tough encounter, with Highland having been unbeaten at home for 2 seasons, the Accies players were clearly up for the game and produced some of their best rugby to that point. Leading 29 – 15 with 10 minutes to go the support were beginning to relish a good win! However, an Accies yellow card, and two late Highland tries, both converted,  produced a draw that even the Highland supporters must have felt extremely fortunate to get.

The next match was memorable and saw Accies at home; taking on a strong St Boswells side from the borders, who were determined to gain promotion. Accies played some superb 15 man rugby, scoring 40 points in a scintillating performance that thrilled the home support.

What a win

And the good band of supporters really enjoyed it, although the Sheriff does look a bit apprehensive!

It demonstrated that this Accies pack could take on any opposition up front and were clearly the best back division in the league. For a young side this has to be very encouraging.

The side had, in Stewart Gray, an outstanding stand-off who controlled the games with a clear view of how to keep the team on the front foot. He was also a Captain who demonstrated his leadership qualities superbly both on and off the pitch.

   

There were some terrific matches and high scoring ones too, which resulted in Accies being the top scoring side in the whole of Scottish League rugby with a magnificent 930 points. They also recorded the highest Scottish individual match result in beating Livingston 163-5. This season, Accies have been as entertaining as any side I have watched at Anniesland for a long time, and as has been reported on numerous occasions, they have been well worth the Saturday afternoon entrance fee!! The players have really appreciated, and responded to the support and encouragement given by the many ‘Old Boys’ on the touch-line.

As our National 3 league came to the final few matches there were 4 sides who were in contention, Dumfries, St Boswells, Lasswade and Accies. It was clear that barring a serious loss of form Dumfries would be champions but second place was in contention right to the last match

One of the most significant games was to be against 4th placed St Boswells away, and our team went down with a positive attitude having taken 40 points of them when they visited the big and perfect pitch at New Anniesland.

   

However when they arrived they were aware that the home team fielded a second row player who had, hitherto, played the entire season for a top Premiership side, something technically allowed by the revised SRU rules, but something which it was clear from the reaction of other clubs in our league was most certainly not in the spirit of our game.  On a muddy, narrow and extremely uneven pitch Accies lost 14-10.  A disappointing way for our promotion ambitions to be crushed, however there will be a real determination to gain revenge next season.  St Boswells lost at home to Dumfries in the final match of the season and failed to gain promotion.

Once again this year we were joined by two of our Swedish friends, Chris Nilserius and Phil Axelsson.

Phil in full flow

And Chris doing his thing!

Both have played for Sweden and have been a real asset to the playing side and have contributed greatly to the club spirit.

The 1st XV have developed a superb ‘dressing room’ atmosphere, and are a credit to all involved.

The players can be proud of their efforts and performances this season having played 22 matches with 15 wins, 4 defeats and 3 draws. They scored 930 points and conceded 330 which demonstrated how good this team are. Their record against the other teams in the top half of the league was played 10, won 5, lost 2 and drawn 3.

I know the coaches will be determined to get the league programme off to a good start next season, and put this Accies XV in a position to achieve their goal of gaining promotion.

St Columba School, Kilmacolm

Over the last few seasons we have been extremely fortunate to have had a stream of St Columba FP’s join the Club. This year’s Captain Stewart Gray and pack leader Chris Johnstone are two such players.

The photo above shows three of St Columba’s P.E. Staff who visited New Anniesland for the last match of the season. Namely Stewart Clark, Brian Manson and Eric Milligan, who were delighted to meet up with and watch their young protégés who have developed into exceptionally, fine players, and who have contributed greatly to Accie Club life.

Including our outstanding back row forward

PJ Rankin

    

 

and the effervescent Ker Malcolm

The superbly utility back Kris Mathie

and of course our pack leader Chris Johnstone

The 2nd XV

As with every rugby club in the country, a strong and vibrant 2nd XV is vital to the development and success of the club. This year was a tough one and our very own Nigel Campbell worked tirelessly, along with Stuart Simmers to develop a strong squad. Despite a disrupted season with teams being unable to field a side the players and coaches stuck to their task. It is probably the toughest job in Scottish rugby, but the Club are lucky to have a man dedicated to his craft – Nigel Campbell was the stand out ‘clubman of the year’.

There were several players who moved up to the 1st XV when injuries prevailed and all were a positive influence on the team performance.

They were a good team to watch and when they had their full complement were a formidable side.

Playing 15 man rugby and enjoying it!

Arran 7’s

The season ended with a great victory in the Arran 7’s. The players had a great day in Brodick and played great rugby and were worthy winners, a just reward for the players involved.

Our Club Sponsors

Firstly, this year we have developed a strong bond with Marie Curie and are proud to be carrying their logo on our shirts.

As we are all now aware Marie Curie care for the terminally ill and give support to relations and friends of the patients. Accies players have been proud to have their logo on their shirts and have committed to finding ways of supporting the cause.

On Saturday 29th April some players got together to do a bucket collection outside Debenhams in Glasgow, as the following photo shows!

A great effort by the boys and girls!

Ruaridh Wilson was the leader of this happy band of Accies and he has also persuaded several of the players, along with some hockey girls, to participate in the 10k run in Edinburgh on May 29th. So can I encourage you, please, to donate via the ‘just giving’ website via the login; www.justgiving.com/fundraising/glasgowaccies

and support them in their efforts for this wonderful organisation.

Your support for the players is very much appreciated by all involved!

The faithful

and very loyal

Supporters.

Thank you to all who have encouraged the players by their support.

As a club we are very aware that without the help of our superb player sponsors we would be seriously short of the finances that are required to keep the Club going. Your support and encouragement is never taken for granted and we are all very grateful.

So to all of you who have sponsored the club and players this season a very big  – Thank you!

We are also very grateful to the Gap organisation for their continued support and to all those who help in maintaining this great club and helped the players to perform as they did.

Finally we wish to thank Bob Johnstone (Chris’s Dad) for all his support throughout the season and his fantastic work with his camera.

Thank you Bob.

The committee and players are already planning for next season and we will try and keep everyone up to date with the progress.

Memories of great days when friendships were cemented and stories created.

Thank you Ian Jarvie.

Please send to dreid17@hotmail.co.uk,  any of your memories and photos which, if ok with sender, will be posted on the website and circulated to everyone. Memories are all part of being involved with a rugby club and it’s history.

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