Gordonians promotion provides silver-lining after bleak season for Caley clubs

Countesswells side claimed the National League Division Three title with big win over Strathmore

Gordonians celebrate National League Three success. Image: Jim McNair
Gordonians celebrate National League Three success. Image: Jim McNair

GORDONIANS gave rugby in the Caledonian area a much needed shot in the arm when they were promoted from National League Three in a weekend when the region lost its second representative in National League One.

The relegation of Stirling County, hard on the heels of Aberdeen Grammar’s demotion two weeks ago from the second flight of the club game, means Highland and Dundee Rugby are left as the standard bearers in the area.

The decline in club rugby is hard to bear for rugby enthusiasts throughout the area in recent years who at one point not so long ago had Grammar, Dundee and Stirling all in the Premiership.

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The reasons for the demise are many fold, perhaps left for another day, given that Gordonians look set on shaking up the status quo after a season in which the Countesswells side have stormed back from the disappointment of being relegated from National League Two last season. Their 67-19 win at the expense of Strathmore on Saturday underlining a campaign in which they have won 17 of their 18 games, and with two games remaining, likely to add substantially to the 877 points they have scored to date.

Assistant coach Ryan Morrice, acknowledged the progress made since going down last season but resisted looking too far into the future.

“We have turned it around this season with the players buying into the training routine set them under the leadership of our excellent head coach James Greenwood,” he said. “We can now plan a strategy, including development and recruitment, as we will lose one or two players, and must always be looking to improve.”

Among those who will stand down at the end of the season will be longstanding prop Tom Williams whose knack of scoring tries three seasons ago led to him claiming a remarkable 23 touchdowns. “After 12 years with this wonderful club, it’s time to call it a day. It was great to get a try today. I wish the guys all the best for the future,” he said.

President Matthew Brechin, who also played in the 11 try rout of Strathmore but failed to get his name on the score sheet, continued the theme of joy and caution when he added:”Winning 17 games out of 18 is quite a feat, but we are not getting carried away with ourselves, although I am looking forward to our two clashes with derby rivals Aberdeen Grammar.

“Consolidating our position in National League Two will be a first priority. In the meantime, we’ll make the best of our celebration tonight.”

Gordonians have provided the silver-lining in the bleak storyline in Caledonian, while up in Orkney, the defeat of Strathmore means the islanders will retain their status in National League Three with a top six finish, while the bottom six will help make up the newly constructed National League 4.

The less encouraging news for both Grammar and Gordonians is that they will be committed to long trips to Berwick, Dumfries and Newton Stewart next season, although they are also gaining an opportunity to make new friends.

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About Jack Nixon 72 Articles
Jack is a Borderer, born in Langholm, and a graduate of Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh. He was a founder member of Livingston Rugby Club in 1968 and has been rugby correspondent for the Aberdeen Press and Journal since 1997. He has been going to Murrayfield man and boy since 1954!


  1. Maybe worth noting that the only team to defeat Gordonians were Howe of Fife, another Caledonia club, who look likely to finish third in the league following some impressive, high scoring matches.

  2. Err Dunfermline moved into National 4 with Ellon having an outside chance of joining them.

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