U18s crowned champions at Regional Sevens
LANGHOLM Academy U18s scored six wins from six to be crowned U18s Dumfries & Galloway Regional 7s champions.
Four Langholm Academy teams travelled to Park Farm, Dumfries to compete in the festival.
Every one of the U18s played out of their skins against some very good opposition. This season Langholm Youth U18s joined the Hawick Youth Rugby set-up, training and playing regularly and this was clearly evident in their display.
Not content with one trophy, five Langholm lads played for Hawick Wanderers last Thursday. The victory over Melrose in front of a large crowd on the Volunteer 3G completed a successful season, losing only one game to lift the Borders semi-junior league trophy.
Langholm players were Thomas Hope, Jonathan Wilkes, Sandy Porter, Callum Henderson and Bailey Donaldson. During the campaign they were joined by Rhys Crossan, Alasdair Scott and Ewan Patterson. This successful venture is already in place for 2017/18 with the next crop of U18s already having had a run out together.
The U14 and U16 boys' teams gave a good account of themselves against some much bigger opposition at the Regional 7s. The U14s won all their games in the group stage but lost in the medal rounds. The U16s managed only one win in their group stage, despite some very close-run games.
There were 12 teams in the U14 group and they were split into sections. Each team played three games before being split again into the cup, shield and bowl sections. The boys started strongly with a comprehensive 6-0 win over Maxwellton High School.
They continued their fine form into the next game, defeating Annan Academy by 5-1. A neck injury to Murray Pool ruled him out of the rest of the tournament.
Next up was Douglas Ewart, looking for revenge after defeat in the U14 conference final. Douglas Ewart started well, running in a couple of well-worked tries. Callum Jeffrey was injured and took no further part in the day and Douglas Ewart ran out worthy winners of this tie.
After all the results were in, Langholm Academy had qualified in the top four and were placed in the cup tournament with Douglas Ewart, Castle Douglas and Wallace Hall Academy.
Langholm struggled to get the results they wanted because of the number of injuries and the sheer size and physicality of the other teams.
But they did not give up, tackling like demons and playing some good flowing rugby. Despite losing the next three games, their good play was rewarded with some excellent tries. The boys should be proud of what they achieved. Finishing fourth of the 12 teams was a good achievement, especially after the early injuries which did knock their confidence a bit.
Try scorers: Ryan Smith 5, Callum Jeffrey 4, Daniel Grieve 4, Murray Pool, Tom Henderson, Philip Porter, Bryn Pool, Cameron Waitt, Hughie Donaldson. Despite not scoring Ryan Johnstone put in some big tackles and was credited with a couple of assists.
The U15 girls gave a fantastic account of themselves and finished regional runners-up after winning all their previous ties. This was a great achievement considering this was their first time playing together.
Langholm P4/5 played in the Dumfries tournament and were drawn in Group A to play three games. Ardrossan beat them 3-1, with tries from Greig Cartner (2) and Ellis Dirom.
Against Dumfries they lost 2-4, with tries from Greig Cartner and Ellis Dirom. In the final game against Newton Stewart they won 4-3, with tries from Greig Cartner (2), Mark Goodfellow and Ellis Dirom. This put Langholm as runners-up in Group A where they faced Group B runners-up Ayr.
A strong performance by Langholm but, agonisingly, they lost 2-3, tries from Greig Cartner and Mark Goodfellow. A great team effort showing some great tackling, off-loads and line speed. All the P4s stepped up to the mark against P5s and showed some great commitment against the opposition. Langholm: Ellis Dirom, Greig Cartner, Codey Foster, Ross Hislop, Glen Jamieson, Jack Hotson, Mark Goodfellow, Layton Foster.
Langholm P6 had a tough day at Dumfries and because some regulars were missing they had only five players. Ellis Dirom stepped up from the P4/5 team to play between their games and did not look out of his depth.
Langholm were edged out by three tries to two in the first game, with Scarlett Crossan Brown scoring both. In the next three games the small squad numbers meant they were out on their feet but deserve credit for their effort.
Thanks to all who made the trip to Park Farm, especially Ellis Dirom. Next week the P6/7s travel to Selkirk and hope for a full squad.
Results: Ardrossan 3-2 Langholm; Dumfries Saints 3-0 Langholm; Ayr 4-0 Langholm; Dumfries Saints Orange 4-0 Langholm.
Team: Callum Sterling, Ryan Wood, Scarlett Crossan Brown, Jamie Hall, Dylan Devlin, Ellis Dirom.
This Friday Langholm U14s and U16s play a friendly development fixture against Jed at Milntown. Kick-off 4.30pm.
This Sunday Langholm Lions P7 play in the Selkirk Rhinos tournament.