On another windless day ( funny how the rise in energy prices has made us all more aware of the weather ) we found Jedforest 2nds to be in fine fettle as they ran out comfortable winners on the back pitch at Riverside Park yesterday.
Border sides, at any level, always carry a couple of players, usually backs, who inherently understand the game. Yesterday was no exception and with parity in the set pieces, the result came down to the Jed stand-off. He was the class performer in the home side ranks controlling the game from hand using the full width of the pitch with some fairly handy wingers to exploit his nous. He also kicked well and when we found ourselves in their territory, he cleared his lines effortlessly.
But we should be proud of our own boys for a number of reasons. The first is we pulled a full squad together to travel which, in these times, is a result in itself! On the pitch we never gave up with a number of backs playing in the back row allowing the team to take the park and a meaningful game to take place. Notwithstanding that, everyone stuck in and it was great to see us competing up front where James Bradley, newest recruit from Heriot Watt Uni, and Rory Anderson were outstanding. Both could do a job further up. The fact is nothing beats 'game time' on the pitch and, irrespective of the score, no-one should ever travel without the prospect of getting on.
Despite trailing 36-19 we never gave up and it took the sprightly thirty something Dave Devlin to romp in for the last score. He's a true Club man ....... always there, always encouraging, and as Jedforest discovered, can still show a clean pair of heels!
It was so good too to see some fresh faces in the backs with the arrival of the Hodge Bros, David and Andrew from St Andrews, and also Redas Brukaas from Northern Ireland. It's so encouraging that Inverleith is now seen as the go-to club for young lads arriving in the Capital. Truth is all we want to do is make rugby players better. We give everyone the platform to be the best they can be with outstanding facilities, great coaches and the true hand of rugby friendship thrown in.
That's all we are trying to do exemplified by David Hampton, coach of the Development team, whose enthusiasm is infectious. I could see yesterday that his charges never stopped playing for him and without blowing smoke etc we have a great set of coaches in place at the club. Not sure how we have quite managed this but their knowledge and experience is exceptional. I do not believe that any other club in Scotland is so richly blessed.
So, on behalf of the players and the committee, many thanks to you all for the time you devote.
From where I see things, with the 1sts delivering in Kirkcaldy, we are in not a bad place but it's one game at a time .... today a rooster, tomorrow a feather duster and all that.
Hon Vice President