Tennents National 2 League Fixture
Glasgow Accies RFC v Whitecraigs RFC
On a rather dull autumn day the players and supporters gathered at New Anniesland for the first local derby of the season. Whitecraigs arrived with their tails up after a good win against Gordonians last week and Accies having suffered a tough day down in the Borders. With Whitecraigs sitting 5 points ahead of Accies, it was all to play for.
‘It’s not possession or pressure that counts its points’ – Tony Silverdale
The game got underway in typical Autumnal weather, cold and a heavy sky, but 30 players keen to get underway. From the kick-off it was Whitecraigs who started on the front foot, with obvious confidence gained from their good result last week. However it was Accies defence that was equally impressive. For 20 minutes it was relentless pressure from Whitecraigs and with only a missed penalty their only opportunity to score, so it was still 0 - 0.
From their first venture into Whitecraigs half after some good work by the backs, a penalty award was converted by the man of the match, Gregor Macewan. 3 – 0
Whitecraigs quickly went back onto the offensive and worked themselves into Accies 22 where a penalty award in front of the posts was scant reward for their efforts in the first 25 minutes of the game. 3 – 3
The same scenario continued as Whitecraigs once again worked themselves back into Accies half and were demonstrating a real skill at the breakdown, but were still unable to break down Accies committed defence. Then from a piece of turnover work, the ball was carried for 15 metres by Greg Connelly, well over the gain line, and the quickly recycled ball was moved to their right where Matt Holland broke through the first line of covering defenders, offloading to the supporting Gregor Macewan who drew the final defender, timing his pass superbly he released winger Colin Taylor to race the final 20 metres to score in the corner. The tough conversion was just wide. 8 - 3
Whitecraigs once again attacked Accies with some good transference and hard running from both forwards and backs, but Accies defensive line speed was up to it and progress was limited. However a clearance kick by Accies was collected inside the Accies half and once again a Whitecraigs attacked in midfield around Accies 10 metre line, where a superb tackle dislodged the ball from the Whitecraigs player and again quick reactions and movement of the ball to the right saw Ross Cowan clear and over for try number 2. This time the conversion attempt by Gregor Macewan was successful. 15 – 3
So despite having the majority of the possession and territory Whitecraigs now found themselves 12 points behind, which seemed a bit unfair, but as Tony Silverdale says – “it is not possession or pressure that counts its points”!
Half – time 15 – 3
It did appear that the two turnover tries that Accies had scored despite being under pressure had done a good deal for the Accies players’ confidence and they were quickly on the attack from the start of the second half. Throughout the first half Accies pack had totally dominated scrummage time and when they were awarded a 5 metre scrum, after some great pick and go work by the pack was held up over the line, the crowd were looking for the push over try. Well Number 8, Tommy Spinks, controlled the ball superbly and when he felt the scrum move slightly clockwise he picked up and nobody was going to stop him. A simple enough conversion for Gregor. 22 - 3
Whitecraigs introduced a couple of quality players off their bench and their scrum steadied up and their new ‘Lomu’ size winger started to get them back into the game. The contest had however gone a little flat until with 18 minutes to go Greg Connelly was yellow carded for an infringement 10 metres out from Accies line. Almost before Accies had reorganised Whitecraigs used a clever move from quick ruck ball and their new winger arrived on the shoulder of their 10 and I don’t think a brick wall would have stopped this ‘Lomu’ impersonator. Simple conversion in front of the posts. 22 – 10
Accies were struggling with the 14 man situation and some close forward work from a Whitecraigs linout 5 metres from Accies line brought them to within 7 points. 22 – 15
Could this be the big comeback, but Accies stuck to their task and from a ruck just inside their own half, scrum half, Adam Lowry kicked a perfect ball into the 5 metre area and close to the touchline so that the Whitecraigs fullback had to run into touch. This saw the reintroduction of Greg Connelly and from good lineout work the ball was once again driven towards Whitecraigs line. Several pick and goes by the forwards saw the ball under the posts and this time the recycled ball was moved wide to the charging Gregor Macewan, who chose a superb line and crossed for the bonus point try. He then converted his own try to make his personal tally to 14 points! 29 – 15
Whitecraigs will never lie down and were still working to get their losing bonus point. Another superb run from ‘Lomu’ which saw him leave two or three tired players in his wake but the ‘thou shall not pass’ attitude of Ross Cowan stopped him. The game moved inside Accies 22 but another strong piece of defence saw the player and ball driven into touch and today’s very good visiting referee from England, Matt Higgins, called a halt to proceedings.
Full – time 29 – 15
For anyone who watched the World Cup game between The All Blacks and the South Africans, when SA were inside the NZ half for the first 20 minutes and then when the All Blacks got 2 chances they scored – taking the wind out of the SA sails, well today was the same. Accies used defence as a real attacking tool and made the most of any chances that came their way. A satisfying result for Accies and a disappointing result for a team that put so much into the game. The comment of the referee after the game summed it up. ‘That was a great game between two sides that were working hard to play good quality rugby on a surface that was outstanding and a joy to referee’. It takes two teams to make a spectacle that everyone present today must have enjoyed.
Some key players return for Accies
After a truly unbelieveable start to the season with injuries and unavailabilities at a level seldom seen at new Anniesland, with something in excess of 25 players injured or unavailable last week, at long last Accies have something resembling their best pack on show tomorrow.
The return after concussion of Tommy Spinks, our two stalwart props Chris Goodfellow and Jason Currie supporting a new recruit in the shape of Frenchman, Pierre-Jean Quiers, added to that the return of the enthusiastic Kenny Beattie and Chris Johnstone both back in the boiler room.
with reserves Tadhg Power and Greg Connelly.
The backs also see some big name returns with Ross Cowan and Adam Lowry added to the backs.
9. Adam Lowry
10. Finlay neilson
11. Jack McCready
12. Matt Holland
13. Gregor Macewan
14. Colin Taylor
15. Ross Cowan
With reserves Jacob Siems and Ronan Joy
Tennent’s National League Division 2
Glasgow Accies RFC v Dumfries
28th September 2019 at Park Farm, Dumfries
One glance at Accies team sheet today spelled out the full extent of the injury list facing the squad. We knew that Dumfries a month previously had come to New Anniesland in a Cup tie with a physical and strong running side, securing a convincing win. With our injury list having grown since then and Dumfries at virtually full strength, even the most optimistic of away support realised that this was going to be a bruising afternoon. This report comes with a health warning as today’s scribe was also running touch whilst scribbling.
Even from the kick off the heavy Dumfries pack made their presence felt gaining possession from their own kick off, and worked their way into the corner for an early try. Fortunately Dumfries had not picked a kicker in the team, conversion missed, 5-0. We were playing with a stiff breeze which did not assist the accuracy of our passing, and this put us again under severe pressure only 8 minutes into the game with heir pack driving over for a second try10 metres in from touch. Easier conversion again missed 10-0. There was an unusual nervousness in our passing game today, probably as a result of all the changes, and rare possession was being surrendered too easily. However, despite the incessant pressure our tackling was starting to look more solid, only for the occasional break through from their pack. Their scrummage was giving us real problems, an unusual occurance for Accies recent packs, but again a result of all the substitutions and a lack of training, with virtually every scrum being driven backwards, bar one strike against the head. From one such scrum on our 22 on the 13 minute mark their back row broke with power and drove over for a third try. Conversion missed 15-0. We were managing to secure possession with heroic play, but still could not hang on to the ball long enough to make any progress. An unforced knock-on whilst trying to break out of our danger area gave them a scrum 15 yards out. The power of their pack was obvious when they drove us dangerously sliding and slipping a full 15m backwards to score again. Conversion made 22-0. This was going to be a long day for our inexperienced side, but to their credit they were beginning to make some inroads to at least delay the inevitable. There was plenty of valiant play in defence and also in the occasional attack which kept the scoreboard at a stand still until just before half time when the home side disrupted our scrum severely and pounced on loose ball in our 22 to score out wide. Conversion missed.
Half – time 27 – 0
To scribe’s surprise but not the referee’s, Dumfries were playing in their traditional broad black and white hooped shirt which was not too dissimilar from the Accie strip. The reason for mentioning this is that on at least two occasions a very promising Accie break into the Dumfries half was thwarted when the Accie ball was passed purposefully to a covering opposition player.
We were only five minutes into the second half when this solid Dumfries pack again drove us backwards, only for a few yards this time 15m out, but on this occasion the referee awarded a penalty try, no conversion required. 34-0. With 15 minutes into this half our weakened scrum came unstuck again and they broke to score not far out, but conversion nevertheless missed. 39-0. Ten minutes later a strong Dumfries back broke through two attempted tackles to score in the corner. Conversion missed 44-0. The constant demand on felling this hefty Dumfries side was beginning to take its toll and an almost identical try was lost only 4 minutes later. Unconvincingly converted, 51-0. They had begun to work out where our weaknesses were and only a further 4 minutes after that another score was lost, unconverted 56-0. By this time, 10 minutes from full time, this Accie side were war weary, but despite making promising breaks, just could not make the break through required. An opportunist Dumfries interception on the halfway line five minutes from time and under the posts was the final nail in a bruising encounter.
Full – time 63-0
Several stand in youngsters, a few for whom this was a debut 1stXV match, will have learnt much from this game and should hold their heads up high. Against these stronger sides, there is no substitute for power, guile and experience in the pack, which in summary was where most of their scoring emanated. Nevertheless we are eagerly awaiting the injury list to resolve itself if we are to compete at this level. The forthcoming game against Whitecraigs at home next Saturday 5th October will be a real test of our ability to bounce back against another side struggling to find form. There is a pre match lunch at 1:00pm which is well worth supporting, and an email to Mo Smith will be welcome. Mo51@hotmail.co.uk
Tennent’s National League Division 2
Glasgow Accies RFC v Preston Lodge RFC
Played on 21st September 2019 at New Anniesland
On a magnificent autumn day the players and supporters arrived at New Anniesland to be greeted by the site of a magnificent playing surface. What a perfect day for playing and watching rugby.
This was a Saturday for open and exciting rugby and despite the slightly down beat feel from some Accies supporters, the result of a rather poor start to our season, there was real hope amongst the players that training had gone well and they were feeling positive.
However the first 20 minutes saw a total capitulation from this remodelled Accies team. Within minutes of the kick off, which had been spilled by Accies the highly motivated and aggressive Preston Lodge side had Accies under real pressure and a try was inevitable. Simple forward drives and then quick transference saw the winger cross on the right, Accies were down and despite the missed conversion Accies were looking very vulnerable. 0 – 5
From a very good kick off Preston manged to once again take advantage of some week Accies defence and before the crowd had a chance to draw breath they had crossed the whitewash again, this time converting. 0 – 12
Surely Accies would react and get themselves into this contest before it was out of their reach. Well this Preston Lodge side are clearly motivated and encouraged by these early exchanges. They had completely dominated the first 20 minutes in every phase of this game so far. Another mistake after sustained pressure saw the inevitable penalty and a successful penalty put them further ahead. 0 – 15
So far Accies players had hardly touched the ball and when Preston found themselves once again inside Accies danger zone their accomplished stand-off saw a clear opportunity and added another 3 points with a deft drop goal. 0 – 18
The murmurings around the stand were how many more points were Accies going to lose before half-time, let alone the game! After 30 minutes Accies had not given anyone the feeling that they could get into this encounter. However Accies are a side with a determination and spirit and they started to work themselves into the game. For the first time they controlling possession and starting to test the opposition defence. With 8 minutes remaining Accies were well inside the Preston Lodge 22 and yet another penalty was awarded by today’s referee Mr Shaw. He went for his pocket and produced a yellow card for the perpetrator the Preston Lodge number 8. From the ensuing scrum a superb pick up by Kenneth Beattie, on his first outing of the season, released young Robert McNaught who then put Ross Cowan into space for a superb try and a confidence boost for the team. Conversion was missed. 5 – 18
From the kick off the ball was collected,this time, and a driving maul started from 10 metres inside the Accies half. The ball was passed to the energetic Ross Cowan who evaded one tackle then when he was stopped he offloaded to Jack McCready who burst free and beat all the covering defenders to score under the posts, a great solo effort. The conversion was successful and Accies were back in it. 12 – 18
Accies went straight back on the attack and were moving the ball well. The forwards were getting in behind the defence and the backs were looking dangerous with ball in hand. Another great movement saw Ross Cowan entering the line and with a deft grubber kick put the ball in behind the defenders. The ball was collected superbly by Ronan Joy and popped back inside to the supporting Ross. A great try and despite the conversion being missed Accies were looking good. 17 – 18
The players had worked really hard to get themselves back into this game after the horrendous start.
Half – time 17 – 18
It had clearly been a major effort for Accies and when the second half kick-off Preston Lodge took full advantage of the ball going straight into touch. A solid scrum on half-way gave their opponents the chance to launch another attack. Pick up by their very strong number 8 who passed to their equally strong inside centre who broke through and despite a great tackle by Ross, the momentum was with Preston Lodge. They were camped on Accies line and it seemed inevitable, despite some brave tackling by all the Accies players, that they would score and they did, providing an easy conversion. 17 – 25
It looked that the Accies revival had stalled when a superb break by Gregor Macewan from inside his own half up to the enemy 22 and with only the last defender to beat and Ross Cowan on his shoulder a try was on. Unfortunately the final pass went to ground, opportunity gone. Not only that but Preston Lodge broke away from the breakdown and took the ball back up into Accies territory and with play being broken up their big inside centre broke through to score under the posts. 17 – 32
This could well have killed off most teams but this team, in all its various forms, has already proved that it has spirit and determination. Once again Ross Cowan broke two tackles and was 15 meters from the line, seeing his progress severely hampered by 4 defenders he put through a beautifully weighted grubber which was picked up by Jack McCready who crossed for the bonus point try. Conversion successful 24 – 32
The question was with players having to go off with yet more injuries could Accies get one more try and at least a losing bonus point? Well, sitting in third place in the league demonstrates that Preston are a well drilled and fit unit and worked themselves into the danger zone and yet another close quarter drive saw them cross for their 5th try to what must have seemed like the finish of any resistance from Accies. It was to be Accies who scored last, demonstrating a strong spirit and determination, they had demonstrated since they allowed their opponents to get an 18 point lead. In the final minute, another break down the blind saw the ball pushed into Preston Lodge’s in-goal area and Jack McCready was the quickest player to react and touch the ball down. A rushed conversion went wide. 29 – 39
The whistle was blown for full-time and despite the fact that Accies had spilled 3 or four good scoring chances in the second half they had won the battle since they were 18 points behind by scoring 29 points to Preston Lodge’s 21, something for the players to take on board, and not allow teams to get a start on them.
Full – time 29 – 39
A lot of hard work required over the coming week with a visit to League leaders Dumfries to come. Let us hope that we see some returning players but I am sure the boys will travel in a positive mode. By the end of that game Accies will have played 4 of the top 5 clubs, A really tough start and I am convinced the players and coaches will start onto the winning trail soon.
Strong Team travel to the Borders
Despite a serious number of injuries, Accies travel to Peebles with a positive attitude:
The backs tomorrow sees a new centre partnership with Scott Simmons sidelined with a badly fractured finger and with Adam Lowry unavailable due to work, we have a new half-back starting lineup!.
Fullback:- Ross Cowan
Left Wing:- Ronan Joy
Outside Centre:- Gregor Macewan
Inside Centre:- Matt Holland
Right Wing:- Colin Taylor
Stand-off:- Finlay Russell
Scrum-half:- Robert McNaught
The forwards for tomorrow have the same front 5, however with the injury to Kenneth Beattie the back row has a new addition:
Loose Head:- Chris Goodfellow
Hooker:- Greg Valentine
Tight Head:- Jason Currie
Second Row:- Greg Connelly
Second Row:- Chris Johnstone
Blindside Wing Forward: Jock Tondle
Openside Wing Forward:- Stuart Holt
Number 8: Tommy Spinks
Our finishers for Saturday are Front Row forwards Mark Howie and Logan McGonigle and backs James McNaught and Jack McCready.
Tennent’s National League Division 2
Glasgow Accies v Newton Stewart
Played on 7th September 2019 at New Anniesland
Today’s match was played in glorious sunshine and on a playing surface that would be the pride of any club in Scotland and a credit to the groundsman, Robert Cheape and his staff. They should be very proud of the magnificent pitch that the two teams enjoyed today.
It was a real pleasure to welcome one of the most hospitable and friendly club sides in Scotland to New Anniesland and it has always proved to be a close encounter whether here or down at Bladnoch Park and so it proved today.
Accies came out of the traps and demonstrated the flowing rugby that they are always trying to play. However it was clear that the boys from Newton Stewart were equally determined to stop them and when a ball was spilled they immediately put Accies under pressure with hard driving forwards and some well-placed kicks. Newton Stewart had the majority of possession and territory in the first 30 minutes and were camped inside Accies half for long stretches. However Accies were not helping themselves by giving away too many penalties which allowed the opposition to pin them back inside their 22. Despite this it has to be said that Accies defence throughout this game was superb and repelled most of efforts by the Newton Stewart side to break them down.
The pattern of play in the first half seemed to be that Accies would defend then break out, put together some good passages of play only for the final pass to be intercepted or dropped, or the player about to pass would lose control and the opposition then would work the ball back into Accies danger zone. In one of these passages of play the Newton Stewart stand-off found himself up against a forward and a quick side-step saw him over the line. The conversion was missed but Accies were now behind in what look like a game that would yield few points. 0 - 5
Accies went on the attack but again a penalty allowed their opponents to push them back into their own half. The game had become very fragmented with too many stops and starts which seemed to break up the rhythm of both teams so neither side was able to get on top. With about 5 minutes to go today’s referee indicated a penalty just outside Accies 22 and this time the conversion was successful. 0 – 8
With the first half drawing to a close the referee signalled a scrum just inside Accies half with Accies having the put in. Throughout this encounter Accies had secured their own put in. The ball was moved to the back of the scrum and No.8, Tommy Spinks, pick up and having broken the first defenders tackle he carried the ball into the opposition 22, from the ensuing ruck the ball was moved superbly along the backs and this time the final pass stuck and Ross Cowan crossed for Accies first points. This reporter believes that that will be one of the tries of the season come April! Up stepped Gregor Macewan who converted from out wide and Accies were once again back in the game and fighting for points. 7 – 8
This had been a half of “what if’s” and Accies were clearly showing great heart and commitment in a game that was being dominated by the defences.
Half – time 7 – 8
There were murmurings around the stand that it is always a good thing to score just before half-time, well clearly nobody said anything about that to the Newton Stewart players who went at Accies with renewed vigour straight from the kick off and with some good handling the ball was moved to their fullback who step inside the last defender and crossed for Newton Stewarts second try. Again the conversion slipped past the right hand post to leave them still within striking range. 7 - 13
The game was going from end to end with Accies backs looking very dangerous but it seemed that elusive last pass went astray or they got isolated. Their efforts however were rewarded with a penalty 30 metres out which Gregor Macewan duly converted to bring them back to within 3 points. 10 – 13
With this end to end rugby it was Newton Stewart’s turn to go on the attack and it should be said that Accies showed real heart and commitment to stop several waves of determined opponent’s forward drives. That heart and attitude will stand this team well in the coming months. However despite several superb breaks Accies could just not find the answer. In fact after Newton Stewart had been pressurising Accies line a good piece of work by Matt Holland to rob the ball from one of these charges saw it recycled on our own line and moved superbly along the backs and Ronan Joy on the wing scampering down to inside the opponents half. With Ross Cowan inside him and clear, one more pass and Ross would be over, however the tackler managed to dislodge the ball from Ronan Joy’s hand as he looked for the supporting player and the momentum and chance were lost. Accies kept up the tempo and were finally awarded a penalty which they decided to kick into the corner. Line-out lost chance gone and time ticking by. However another opportunity was presented when they were awarded a second penalty, this time in front of the posts. The Captain, Chris Johnstone, decided to at least go for the 3 points and the draw. Gregor duly converted and it was all square. 13 – 13
There was no time for either side to mount a serious attack and a simple knock-on saw the referee blow for fulltime. In truth neither side deserved to lose or win the game. It was a very competitive encounter, where neither side were going to give an inch. Two teams that defended till they dropped, worked tirelessly throughout the 80 minutes to play rugby and ended up with neither on top. There were clearly signs that this was the first game of the season and a great deal of work will have to be done by players and coaches over the coming weeks. Newton Stewart will be a tough side to beat when they are in this mood and they will be a good addition to National 2 rugby. I know the Accies players are already looking forward to the return fixture if not the bus trip.
Full – time 13 - 13
The first encounters in this year’s National 2 campaign have shown that it is going to be a fascinating and very tough season and that there is going to be very little between top and bottom sides.
Next week the boys travel to Peebles and they will be preparing for a very tough encounter.
I have said so many times that I am becoming boring (not for the first time I hear many say) that support home and in particular away really helps the players and their game head!
Saturday 31st August - Accies take on Dumfries
Tomorrow sees the National League Cup get underway with Accies taking on fellow National 2 side Dumfries Saints.
Your Team for Saturday is as follows:-
1 Christopher Goodfellow 15 Gregor Macewan
2 Chris Scott 14 Colin Taylor
3 Jason Currie 13 Ronan Joy
4 Kenneth Beattie 12 Matthew Holland
5 Christopher Johnstone (C) 11 Jack McCready
6 PJ Rankin 10 Adam Lowry (VC)
7 Stuart Holt 9 Robert McNaught
8 Kane Greggain
16 Mark Howie
17 Greg Valentine
18 Calim Duke
19 James McNaught
20 Finlay Neilson
There will be soup and hot rolls available pre-match and a warm welcome!!
It was really encouraging to see so many players out for the first Tuesday and start of pre-season.
It was great to see some old friends and new faces all working well.
The enthusiasm was infectious and the attitude excellent.
With over 30 players attending it required several of the senior players to help develop and control the evening - another great sign that Andy Jackson and Ryan Grant have leaders amongst the squad!
There is the second of the pre-season sessions on Thursday at 7.00pm at Lower Windyedge (off Jordanhill Drive), you will be made most welcome!
Next Tuesday the 9th of July their is to be a players meeting which will start at 7.00pm in the Clubhouse at Helensburgh Drive, all players and those interested in joining our happy family Club, are encouraged to attend.
Glasgow Accies Fixture List for Season 2019-20
1st Round - Saturday 31st August v Dumfries @ New Anniesland
2nd Round - Saturday 26th October
¼ Finals - Saturday 25th January 2020
Semi Finals - 28th March 2020
Final – Saturday 18th April 2020
National League 2
1st Half of League Season
Saturday 7th September v Newton Stewart - Home
Saturday 14th September v Peebles - Away
Saturday 21st September v Preston Lodge – Home
Saturday 28th September v Dumfries – Away
Saturday 5th October v Whitecraigs – Home
Saturday 12th October v Gordonians – Away
Saturday 19th October v Kirkcaldy – Away
Saturday 2nd November v Hamilton – Home
Saturday 9th November v Falkirk – Away
Saturday 16th November v Stewarts Melville – Home
Saturday 23nd November v GHK – Away
2nd Half of League Season
Saturday 30th November v Newton Stewart – Away
Saturday 7th December v Peebles – Home
Saturday 14th December v Preston Lodge – Away
Saturday 11th January v Dumfries – Home
Saturday 18th January v Whitecraigs – Away
Saturday 15th February v Gordonians – Home
Saturday 29th February v Kirkcaldy – Home
Saturday 7th March v Hamilton – Away
Saturday 21st March v Falkirk – Home
Saturday 28th March v Stewarts Melville – Away
Saturday 4th April v GHK – Home
Saturday 1st February v Ireland – Dublin
Saturday 8th February v England – Murrayfield
Saturday 22nd February v Italy - Rome
Sunday 8th March v France – Murrayfield
Saturday 14th March v Wales – Cardiff
What a magnificant effort by all concerned!
A group of Accies completed the Edinburgh 10K run on Saturday 25th as part of the effort the Club are making to raise money for Maries Curie.
A BIG thanks must go out to all those who have supported the efforts with sponsorship on the ‘just giving’ site and to Emma Burns for her time and commitment in getting them organised.
They have also done a bucket collection outside Debehams.
West 7’s Tournament 2019
Accies returned to Burnbrae as defending Champions from 2018!
Accies took a strong squad to Burnbrae which was clearly determined to do the Club proud. Hugh Lindsay, our outstand openside flanker, who played such an important part in our success throughout this season, captained the side and had at his disposal a Team Manager of impeccable credentials, Frazer McCready.
So as the tournament got underway Accies took on the 3 other teams in their group and it has to be said that they demonstrated some of the skills that were evident in the second half of the league season.
It has to be said that several of their opponents were surprised at the ability of the Accies players to move the ball into space and therefore create an opportunity to score tries. In the final game of the preliminary rounds I watched a young man playing on the wing who scored 3 tries and on investigation was about to leave the Academy this year, Colin is looking forward to joining the Club – a real prospect!
Clever management of player and substitutions, allowed the squad to be well prepared for the semi-finals.
Now we got down to the serious part of the competition. The semi-finals were about to start and Accies were going to be up against the best teams left in the competition. Was the early comprehensive victories just weakness in the opposition or real skill on the part of the Accies players? Well from the start it was clear that this group of players were well organised and clearly determined to retain the trophy.
Their semi-final was against one of the host sides and after a couple of superb tries it was clear the boys had raise their game. There were some great tries but none more so that a try by Jack McCready when he used his ability to move off either foot and his superb speed to leave the defenders ineffectual and score a superb try. The players worked hard to create space for the quick runners but they also work hard in defence when it was required and gave away very few points.
The manager, Frazer McCready, used every player throughout the tournament to maximise their effectiveness. We were lucky in having a group of skilful players and they did not rely on one or two individuals to make a difference,
The final was between what was clearly the two best sides in the tournament, with Wigtonshire having travelled up from the Borders for the occasion and had brought a talent group of players, which included a Hawks second row player.
Accies got off to a perfect start with a well worked try early on, but Wigtonshire were clearly up for the encounter and when an Accies attack broke down and the ball was turned over, Wigtonshire broke through and clear. However Scott Simmons was hunting down the runner and although it looked like a certain try, Scott timed his attack perfectly and he knocked the ball out of his hands just as he was trying to touch it down. Not only that but he got the ball and started the move, from inside his dead ball area that resulted in Accies second try – brilliant work!
This clearly had annoyed the Borderers and again they broke clear and this time made sure the ball was touched down. So it was now 2 tries to one and the tempo was increasing. The Borderers were starting to get frustrated by Accies ability to retain possession and defend in depth, and this was stopping them really getting back into the game.
The second half saw Accies stand-off Chris Rhodes and winger Ruaridh Hood both reading the situation beautifully and a chip ahead was collected by Ruaridh who drew the defender, passed inside to the supporting Ryan Sweeney who then passed it back out for Ruaridh to score. Evidence that Accies had a great team who all had skills so they did not depend on individuals.
Congratulations to all concerned from Manager through Captain Hugh Lindsay to all the players and not to forget the important ‘water boy’ Greg Connelly!
And retain it!!!! Congratulations
Tommy Spinks – Coach and Back Row forward
Accies are delighted to announce that Tommy Spinks is joining Accies as a player coach for season 2019-20. He will bring with him a great deal of experience, expertise and energy.
Tommy’s amateur career started when he played mini rugby as a 5 years old. By his fourth year of high school at North Berwick he played for the 1st XV. He was spotted by the rugby coach at Fettes College who got him a scholarship there for his final years.
In June 2014 it was announced that he would join Glasgow Warriors as part of their Elite Development Programme and as part of this deal he was able to play for Glasgow Hawks when not involved with the Warriors.
After a stint in Jersey he re-joined the Hawks in 2016.
Tommy’s Professional career started when he sign for London Scottish straight from Fettes College, and during the 2014–15 season he was loaned out to the Ospreys where he played twice in the LV Cup.
He played twice for Glasgow Warriors in the Pro12 league in their championship winning season; both appearances of the bench. On 28 February 2015 he made his debut for Glasgow Warriors away to Munster at Thormond Park. He also appeared in the 6th of March 2015 home match at Scotstoun against Italian side Zebre. He was also part of the Warriors 7s squad that successfully defended the 2015 Melrose Sevens.
On 28 May 2015 it was announced that Tommy would sign for Jersey Rugby Club where he had one season before returning to Glasgow in July 2016.
Tommy’s International career started when he was picked for the Scotland under 18’s which was followed by selection for the under 20’s, which he went on to Captain in the Under 20’s Rugby World Cup in 2014. He has also played for the Scottish Club XV.
Ruaridh Jackson, the 31 year old Glasgow Warriors fullback is to join Accies for the 2019-20 season as backs coach.
Ruaridh was born in Northampton and was educated at Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen.
He signed for Warriors as a 20 year old in 2008 where he played at stand-off. He made his International debut in 2010 against the All Blacks. He currently has 33 caps.
Besides his first spell at Warriors, he has played for Wasps and Harlequins before returning to Glasgow in 2017 where he has produced some of his best rugby from fullback.
He will bring a vast amount of knowledge and experience to New Anniesland and will be teaming up with his Warriors partner Ryan Grant to make a formidable team.
GLASGOW ACCIES RFC
For over 150 years, The Glasgow Academical Rugby Club 1st XV has been one of the most successful teams within the sports association. Its history is stamped in the annals of Scottish rugby, with its roots in the governing body’s very foundations.
In recent years, the 1st XV have become a rampant force in Scottish rugby, powering through the leagues at regional and now national level. Promotion in the 2017/18 season has landed the Accies squad in the highly competitive National Division 2.
The Glasgow Accies 2nd XV, or better known as The Bobcats, are a highly sociable squad playing in the very competitive BT West Division 1 Reserve league. The club boasts players of all ages and prides itself on being one of the most welcoming squads in Scottish rugby.
But it's not just fun & games, The Bobcats play a vital role in the development of the 1st XV, providing young players the perfect breeding ground to learn the game at senior level.
Club 1st XV
Ryan Grant - forwards
Ruaridh Jackson – backs
League/Division Season 19/20
National League Division 2
Club 2nd XV
Stuart Simmers & Frazer McCready
League/Division Season 19/20
West Reserve League Division 1
Competitive, welcoming, sociable rugby
Club Location: Anniesland, Glasgow
Frequent buses to Anniesland Road (2min walk from club) with routes from all over Glasgow
Anniesland Station (5min walk from club)
Jordanhill Station (15min walk from club)
Full membership: £110 p/a
Yes - U21/Student: £55 p/a or £5 per month DD
Is training/playing kit included? Yes
All skill levels welcome to push for a place in our competitive 1stXV squad or play in our 2ndXV ‘Bobcats’ squad. All positions needed,game time and stash guaranteed.
To get in touch use the website contact details.
A tough first 11 games
Accies started this season with a long list of injuries to key players.
It startede with openside flanker Hugh Lindsay suffering from a perforated appendix, followed by complications. He was joined by several other players who had to sit out the first series of games.
This resulted in defeat in the first 3 games of the season with a tough trip to Peebles followed by another tough encounter against a strong Dumfries team. This was followed by a trip to Edinburgh to face Stewarts Melville. A brilliant start to this game was halted with 4 injuries to key players and defeat.
The run was stopped with a brave effort when the boys faced a tough team from Cupar. Howe arrived at Anniesland looking for a win to get their season up and running.
A hard fought win seemed to be a good sign of development. However a tough journey to Biggar set the team back. So they faced the last game of the first half of the season came around. We were to play GHK under lights on a Friday night. Although Accies dominated the game they came out 6 - 5 down. This was a hard blow to the players.
So the first 11 games had been played and Accies had a dissapointing record of won 2, lost 8 and drawn 1.
Could the players and coaches turn this around. Accies sitting in the bottom of the league.
So the boys and coaches went to work to sort out their game plan and the results started to flow.
First up was the return fixture against Peebles and a brilliant 22 - 20 win was the result.
A great start but tough games to come. A heroic battle away in Dumfries was narrowly lost and the visit of Stewarts Melville saw them return to Edinburgh with a win they hardly deserved.
Would the players spirit be dampend. Well a very well deserved victory over Howe of Fife proved the doubters wrong. This side was showing real heart.
Accies then had the visit of Falkirk and the revenge of the single point defeat - success and a very good victory. The game plan was coming together.
However the team experienced a dissapointment when they scored 5 tries against Whitecraigs but lost by two points. This was followed by the two hardest games of the season. A great effort against both Biggar at home and Highland away resulted in no points but a great deal of pride.
Accies now had to face Preston Lodge who had beaten them soundly at their home. Well Accies produced the game of the season and demolished them and showed how far the side had come since that game against GHK.
They were entertaining the crowds as well as playing some superb rugby.
Next up was revenge for the Friday night horror show. On a crisp spring day with the sun shinning and New Anniesland looking superb, Accies duly took their revenge. Superior in all aspects of the game they recorded their 5 win of the second half of the season.
Final game of the season was the postponed game against Lasswade. A team fighting for survival, always a threat. Well on a cold, wet and generally miserable day Accies, short of 8 first choice players produced a truly brave and in the end, desreved win. 7 - 19 down with 5 minutes of the first half to go Accies managed to bring the score level before the interval. They also scored to only points of the second half with a penalty. A great conclusion to a tough season but put Accies into 7th place in the league.
Played 11 won 6 lost 5 drawn 0 - what a terrific turnaround.
Ruaridh Jackson, Glasgow Warriors and Scotland stand off and fullback to join Accies coaching team.
The Club Head Coach Andy Jackson (no relation) is delighted to announce that Ruaridh Jackson will be joining Accies as the backs coach for season 2019/20. Ruaridh will bring a great deal of experience and knowledge to the side and will be joining his pal from Warriors days, Ryan Grant. He has experience in both the Scottish and English Pro Rugby game over the past 11 years, as well as his 33 Caps for Scotland. Ruaridh started his rugby career as a stand-off but moved to fullback where he playes today for the Warriors. I know that the players are all delighted at the prospect of learning from Ruaridh.
He will be a great asset and contributor to next season
Accies RFC v Lasswade RFC
“And so the season comes to an end”
‘On a misty, wet and cold April day Accies finish with a win’
Accies have completed their season with 3 terrific wins, concluded by a hard fought win at Lasswade. This has always been a very difficult place for teams to travel to and despite the fact that they are relegated they have pushed every team close. They are a proud club with a strong and vocal support and without doubt will give the National 3 teams a real run for their money.
Today was not a day for 15 man rugby and with the wind at their backs Lasswade put Accies under pressure for the first 25 minutes of the half with strong forward drives and close quarter passing. Any time Accies tried to get on the front foot and nudged themselves into the Lasswade half, they either gave away a penalty or knocked on and the Lasswade kickers knew how to use the wind on this narrow pitch and Accies found themselves back inside their 22. Accies were also further under pressure when PJ Rankin had to leave the field with a pulled hamstring, being replaced at number 8 by Kane Greggain and his slot at blindside by Chris Scott, who it should be said had a very good game. So after 25 minutes, it was something of a surprise, therefore, to the good sized crowd that Lasswade forwards had taken 20 minutes to score, as their forwards drove 6 or 7 times at Accies try line and finally crossed the whitewash. The conversion in atrocious conditions just slide past. 0 – 5
Almost immediately from the kick off another penalty was awarded against Accies, by today’s referee, and the resultant kick expertly placed into Accies 22. The ball was controlled well at the lineout and for the first time Lasswade backs got the ball at speed and a good break by their first up runner created enough space for the supporting centre to be released for an unopposed run to the line close to the posts. The relatively easy conversion was successful and Accies were suddenly behind 0 - 12
Was this to be a bad day for Accies or could they halt the tide of points that seemed to have started? Well this is most definitely an Accies side with character and attitude. Some really good forward drives and support work took Accies inside the Lasswade 22 for the first time. From a strong platform at the resultant scrum, the makeshift number 8, Kane Greggain picked and went blind and his well-timed pass put scrum half Andy Brown clear to draw the fullback and release Gregor Macewan, arriving from fullback, to romp home for Accies first try. Gregor converted his own try to put Accies back in the match. 7 – 12
The Accies supporters were settling down and feeling a bit better about things when Lasswade kicked off. The ball was watched as it bounced into touch 20 minutes from Accies line. Accies lineout was stolen and the ball driven down the touchline towards Accies line. Some good work by Lasswade forwards saw them drive over for the inevitable try. Good conversion was successful and the uplift of the try had been delated for the Accies supporters , as Accies were back to a 12 point deficit. 7 – 19
With the wind and rain in their faces it was going to take a terrific effort to get themselves back up after that disappointment. The restart didn’t reach the 10 metre line and Accies forwards had to troop back to the halfway for the scrum. This allowed Lasswade half backs to push Accies back inside their 22 again. However the ball was kept alive an Accies outside centre, Mathew Holland, broke free and raced up into Lasswade territory. He was supported by Gordon McGuire who continued the run and took the ball infield. The forwards joined in and took the ball inside the 22 where it was released to Mathew again who then released Gregor Macewen for his romp home and his second try. This was a superb end to end try, in what were very difficult conditions. A tough difficult conversion was missed, but Accies were back in the fight. 12 – 19
This time Accies sorted out the kick-off and drove back at their opponents. It would be good to end the half only 7 points behind after the pressure they had been under for 30 minutes. From a ruck, just inside Accies half, Andy Brown released Ryan Sweeney, who was standing in at loosehead prop, he broke the first up tacklers and romped into Lasswade’s 22. After some great support work and the ball being taken to the line by the supporting players the ball was released by who else but Ryan to Kane, to finish off another really good try. Conversion good and Accies were level. 19 – 19
The first half came to an end and the Accies players could be well pleased with their first half efforts, both in defence and attack and had brought the game level despite the disadvantage of having the conditions in their faces. The final 15 minutes of the first half had seen 38 points put on the board.
Half-time 19 – 19
Were we going to see more of the same in the second half and a big score line from both sides? Well the first half had taken two pages of notes for this scribe to try and get the feel of the half but the second took two lines. Lasswade had gone into the warmth of their changing room and came out with clearly renewed determination. Accies had stayed out but had received some very positive encouragement from the coaches. Lasswade were on top without really putting any pressure on Accies line. Accies forwards were holding their own particularly in the lineout and for the first 15 minutes the game was played between the two 22 metre lines. The referee today had felt that Accies had committed too many penalties and around 15 minutes yellow carded Jason Currie, (perhaps so he could have a rest from his labours). He was replaced at the first scrum by Vincent Yildiz who it has to be said acquitted himself very well. During the ensuing 10 minutes Accies did not look like a side that was down to 14 men and were definitely growing in confidence. Young Cameron Wray and Gregor Macewen started to find their kicking game and keeping their opponents inside their half and therefore under pressure. With 9 minutes to go Accies were beginning to look like the side who had control and would be most likely to score. Lasswade were under pressure and were starting to commit offences and mistakes. They were struggling to clear their lines and had several clearance kicks charged down. This was causing their forwards to over reach and at give-away penalties. It was from one of these infringments just inside the Lasswade 22 that Gregor Macewen stepped up and promptly slotted the ball between the uprights, to convert the penalty and put Accies ahead for the first time. 22 – 19
For the remainder of the game Accies were camped inside Lasswade’s half and were now in control of the game. The shouts from the stand of ‘keep it tight’ were possibly not heard but Accies kept control and finishes the game inside their opponents 22.
The referee brought the game to an end and Accies were victorious. A superb effort from a side that was missing 8 of last week’s players. However ever single player worked tirelessly for the full 80 minutes, or 60 minutes in Jason’s case, (but he put in 80 minutes’ worth of work in that 60 minutes). A big shift from all the forwards combined with some great defensive work from all 15 players was the reason for this well-deserved victory. The rearranged back division was as effective as it could be in what were atrocious conditions, with Gregor Macewen shining in his unaccustomed position at fullback and contributing 17 points. The second half was clearly fragmented because the ball had become extremely slippery, the players hands must have been numb and the general conditions were taking their toll. But both sides deserved great credit for sticking to their task on a miserable day for rugby.
Full-time 22 – 19
It is a credit to all involved that Accies are now sitting in 7th place in the league despite such a tough year with injuries. Their second half of the season has seen them play 11 games with 6 wins and 5 defeats, which if they had been at full strength for the whole season would have seen them inside the top sides in the league. Every player who has stepped up has demonstrated the same attitude and commitment that it requires at this level in the game, and it is so important that the club has a strong squad with depth in every position.
We can all now look forward to next season with hope and excitement and with the addition to our coaching staff of Ruaridh Jackson this can only help to develop our young backs. I would like to take this opportunity to comment on the obvious improvement that Ryan Grant has made to this Accies pack, especially at scrum time. They have shoved much bigger sets of forwards around the pitch and made our pack one to be seriously respected.
The players and coaches wanted me to thank all the supporters for their loyalty and encouragement throughout this tough season and especially those that have travelled to the away fixtures that are so difficult; your involvement with their season has meant a lot to them all. I would point to the home game against Falkirk, where the team were under real pressure and the crowd really lifted them and took them to the win that was so important this season. Thank you is not enough.
Finally, as has been said so often, it takes a great deal of help and financial support to run a rugby club today and we could not do it without this support from the companies and individuals that have helped us this season. The players, coaches and committee never take this financial help for granted and wish to thank everyone who has done so.
We have had another productive season with our charity partner Marie Curie. The players are running in the 10k in Edinburgh to raise more funds for them and with the annual bucket collection outside Debenhams along with the Ladies day and other collections during the season we hope to keep this positive involvement of the Sports Club at New Anniesland growing and developing over the summer. Big thanks must go to John Watson OBE for his instigation and support of this partnership which has helped Accies to look outside the club.
Some more great photos, once again courtesy
“Accies score five tries but just miss out on victory”
Despite the cold and rather miserable day a strong number of Accies supporters arrived at Whitecraigs to watch Accies take on a strong and heavy Whitecraigs side. Within minutes of the start Accies and worked a turnover and moved the ball to Adam Lowry who drilled a perfect grubber kick through the covering defence for the ever lively Kris Mathie to collect and score in the corner. A tough kick in heavy conditions was missed. 5 – 0
Almost before the crowd had settled and before some had even arrived, Accies were once again on the score sheet. Good scrum possession resulted in a very slick series of passes along the backs, worthy of a much higher level of rugby club, to put Chris Woods over for the second try, again wide out. Same result for the conversion. 10 – 0
This was beginning to look like a walk in the park and with another smooth and effective back move Chris Woods breezed past the cover defence to score his second and Accies third try the supporters were begging to relax and consider the 5 point win that was looking inevitable. Another conversion missed meant that Accies were now 15 points clear. 15 – 0
However as so often happens when a side has romped to a lead they take their collective foot off the pedal and so it happened and Whitecraigs big forwards got them back into the game and when they got to within striking distance of the posts they were awarded a penalty which was successfully converted to get them on the scoreboard. 15 – 3
Whitecraigs were using their heavy forwards to keep battering Accies who were now pinned inside their own 22 and with some hard running and ball carrying they produced a well-deserved try which was also converted and suddenly they were within 5 points of Accies. 15 – 10
Whitecraigs clearly were now full of confidence and their big forwards were proving very effective and they used these to rocked Accies backwards after their very positive start. Accies were being deprived of possession by what was clearly a much heavier Whitecraigs set of forwards, and Accies were even struggling at scrum time and being made to work very hard in defensive duties. It was also clear that the backs were having to defend against these heavier forwards in the middle of the park and being denied ball which they could use effectively. It was not a real surprise that all this domination resulted in a second try for Whitecraigs which brought the sides level. Conversion missed. 15 – 15
A somehwhat surprised Accies support were then disappointed when a simple penalty was awarded in front of the posts and up stepped the Whitecraigs kicker to put them 3 points in front and from a start which looked so promising Accies were behind. 15 – 18
The first time that the Accies back division got their hands on the ball they once again looked really dangerous and some superb work saw Ross Cowan entered the line and he romped home, as only he can, to put Accies back in front and gain the try bonus point. Conversion missed. 20 – 18
The first half came to an end and it was clear that either side could win this game.
Half – time 20 – 18
With Accies 3 points ahead of Whitecraigs in the league at the start of the game it was clear that Whitecraigs were desperate to secure points out of this fixture to keep them clear of the relegation battle that is brewing below both teams.
So it was not surprising that Whitegraigs came out for the second half with a commitment that put them into Accies 22 and were awarded a penalty at the breakdown which gave their efficient kicker a fairly easy opportunity to once again put them in front. 20 – 21
The game had become somewhat of a forward battle, with both packs going head to head and the ball not being seen by either set of backs. It was not a great spectacle for the superb supporters who had braved the weather to be there. However Accies did regain the lead when a superb piece of individual skill saw Josh Waldin glide through a gap down the blind side and run 50 metres to beat the cover defence to score. However once again this was in the corner and the conversion was missed. 25 – 21
I think everyone felt that this was probably not going to be enough to see Accies home and with Whitecraigs playing with a real determination they manufactured another try after some confusion in Accies 22 resulted in their forwards driving several times and eventually being awarded the try. Conversion successful and Whitecraigs had put themselves ahead with 8 minutes to go. 25 – 28
Accies did work themselves back into Whitecraigs 22 and after several close calls the ball was cleared and the game came to an end. I am sure that Accies supporters felt disappointed that their team had scored 5 tries but lost the game and that perhaps it was just a little more important for Whitecraigs to get the win.
Full – time 25 – 28
Having started the game with 3 tries on 10 minutes and scoring 20 points in all in the first half it was disappointing to lose the second half 10 – 5 with the difference being 2 successful kicks. Accies scored 5 tries to Whitecraigs 3, but their 3 successful penalties (9 points) proved crucial. However with 2 bonus points gained, Accies are still sitting in 8th place in the league and 1 point ahead of Whitecraigs and 11 points clear of the 9th placed GHK.
Accies now have to face league leaders at New Anniesland next week but I am sure they will be working hard at training to learn from this defeat. Looking at it constructively Accies have gained 12 points from 3 games since Christmas which is a very positive return for all the hard work that has been done. I am sure that Biggar will be travelling to New Anniesland expecting a hard battle.