Montrose are league winners!

MONTROSE Rugby Club won the Caledonia League Three Midlands title in a hard-fought battle against closest rivals Panmure.

It was in near perfect conditions that the game kicked off at Union Park and both teams were well aware that a win would secure the league title.

After eight minutes, Montrose full-back Calum Ruxton ran from his own 22 to score the opening try. This spurred the Panmure team into action and they scored two tries to leave Montrose trailing five points to 12 at the break.

Whatever was said at half time clearly made a difference and the Montrose team came out with renewed intensity. Despite robust defence from Panmure, the home team’s fitness and aggressive forward play started to provide opportunities for Montrose.

Four Montrose tries came from Jamie Gardiner, Chris Haynes, Dean Cargill and Marc Scoular with Panmure only managing a try and a penalty in the second half.

When the whistle went at the end of the game, cheers rang out to celebrate a well-deserved 27-15 victory and Montrose were confirmed as league championships.

Marc Scoular, first XV captain, said: “While we are delighted with the performance today, this is a result of all of the hard work throughout the season.

“The commitment has been excellent and we will build on this success. It is important to note that none of this would have been possible without the support of our coach, Steve Oakley, our sponsors and the rest of the club.”

On Saturday evening, the club held a dinner and ceilidh in the Links Hotel. As well as current members, all club sponsors were invited and a number of former presidents and captains were also in attendance.

Alistair Grove-White, president, said: “This was the first time for some years that we had put on a dinner and ceilidh. It was a great event that everyone enjoyed. While the focus of the night was to celebrate the achievements of this season, we also raised funds through a raffle and a charity auction.

“We brought in a remarkable figure in excess of £3,500 and all of this will go towards the ongoing development of the club. A huge thank you goes to the organising committee for such a fantastic evening.”

This Sunday will see four male club members having their legs waxed to raise funds for the club’s community coach.

This new role will work with the club and schools to introduce more children in the Montrose area to rugby. More details can be found at www.justgiving.com/rugbylegs.

r The Montrose 1st XV are pictured here celebrating their league victory.