ANOTHER hugely-successful Langholm Lions and Cubs mini-rugby festival was held at Milntown in almost perfect playing conditions last Sunday, writes Davie Gordon.
The festival was again sponsored by Wm Armstrong Group, Longtown, which has been a long-standing supporter of Langholm Youth Rugby.
The club was delighted that Steve and Jennifer Whyberd were able to present the medals.
Teams from Peebles, Hawick, Gala, Jedforest, Dumfries and Annan travelled to compete over three age groups, P2/3, P4/5 and P6/7 and the bumper crowd was treated to some fantastic rugby.
All the P2/3 youngsters were presented with medals. The winners were Gala and Dumfries runners-up. Hawick took the P4/5 section and Dumfries were again runners-up.
In an exciting end to the festival, it went down to the last game in the P6/7 section to sort out the winner, with the honours going to Peebles. Hawick were runners-up.
Lauren Graham, Langholm youth coach, held a well-attended P1 fun training session for the youngest members of the Cubs’ section.
These festivals take an enormous amount of organising and Langholm Youth Rugby are very fortunate to have a great team of volunteers behind them and this was visibly out in force.
The club is grateful to everyone who contributed, none more so than the kitchen crew who were rushed off their feet all day.
A big thank you goes to Archie Dryburgh for providing the first aid, while special mention to the tireless efforts of the referees, Ross Mabon, Davie Oliver, Ewan Patterson and Chris Tait, who were exemplary and contributed massively to a smoothly-run event.
The youth section now look forward to providing the pre-final entertainment at the Langholm Sevens before closing the season in style at their end-of-season celebration on Friday, May 3.
After the huge success of last season, the club is delighted to announce the dates of Tuesday and Wednesday, July 23 and 24 for its second Newcastle Falcons summer camp.
Bookings by club members should be made through the club and application forms are now available.
P4/5 by Murray Rose
Langholm 8 Gala 4.
Tries: Aaron Wood x 2, Owen Rose x 2 and Jayden McVittie x 4.
The tie started with both teams exchanging tries and it looked to be an evenly-matched game. Eventually, the Lions tightened up in defence to force a bulky Gala side to make errors and ran in some counter-attacking tries.
Langholm 0 Dumfries 3
Both teams started strongly in defence, not giving their opponents any easy points. The Lions had some good spells of possession but could not get over the try line. Dumfries eventually counter-attacked off some loose balls to run in some late tries.
Langholm 5 Jedburgh 7
Tries: Jayden McVittie x 2, Aaron Wood and Jack Hughes x 2.
The Langholm youngsters displayed great attacking rugby to score some well-earned tries. It was a fairly-balanced tie which Langholm should have probably won but the Lions forced some errors which the opponents capitalised on to win.
Langholm 4 Annan 2: Tries: Jack Hughes x 2, Jayden McVittie and Owen Rose.
After the Jed game, the boys and girls had a well-earned rest to refuel, mainly ice cream and pick n mix sweeties, which was deserved and they went into the fourth tie rearing to go.
The Lions showed great energy, closing down their opponents to force them out of play and earning the turnovers. They were rewarded with some good team tries and won quite comfortably.
Langholm 3 Hawick 5.
Tries: Jack Hughes x 3.
Last, but certainly not least, was Hawick, eventual tournament winners. The Lions never shied away and got stuck in from the off, again fearless in defence and confident in attack.
Hawick scored the first three tries but Langholm never gave up and bounced back with three quick tries, making it all to play for.
Langholm knocked continuously on the try line but Hawick forced a turnover and ran in two late tries.
The coaches were delighted with the youngsters and commend them on their achievements in the season so far.
Improvements have been noticed as the season has progressed and they look forward to their next festival at Galashiels.
Team: Isla Hall, Owen Rose, Harry Vevers, Jack Hughes, Riley Smith, Jayden McVittie, Aaron Wood, Austin Coulthard.
By Colin Jardine
The P2/3 had a great day. With 12 players in the squad, it was a task to manage substitutions but was great to see so many kids champing at the bit to play rugby.
They got off to a good start, beating Annan in the first game. They had a couple of tough games against very good teams in Dumfries and Gala and they came up second best.
Peebles were up next and they were keen to improve and get another win to impress the now masses of support on the sideline.
With a much-improved performance with great passing and speedy running Langholm came out on top.
The last game against Hawick was a nailbiter and both teams gave their all.
More great running from both teams gave the crowd the best tie of the day, with Hawick scoring in the last play to win.
ive thanks to both referees oing a great job.
P 6/7 by Craig Hislop
Langholm 1 Hawick 0
Langholm came out of the blocks from the start and defended heroically against a strong Hawick team. Ellis Dirom scored a try and they held on for a win.
Langholm 0 Dumfries 2
Against the eventual winners Langholm couldn’t find the form they showed against Hawick.
Langholm 5 Jedforest 1
The lads played some fine rugby, scoring five tries. Ellis was full of running for his hat-trick of tries, Mark Goodfellow added one and Greig Cartner the other.
Langholm 3 Peebles 4
In an end-to-end battle Langholm had some great interlinking play but narrowly missed out on the win. Greig scored twice and Ellis added to his tally.
Langholm 2 Annan 1
Langholm scraped a win, with a final play score by Ellis after Greig had scored.
There was a real improved effort in defence and the lads’ use of the ball was pleasing. Good to have 14 players available. Well done to all of them.
Glen Jamieson, Ellis Dirom, Noah Smith, Toby Coulthard, Ross Hislop, Alistair Lockie, Daniel Cattermole, Jack Hotson, Erick Rall, Robbie Smith, Euan Nixon, Connor Forster, Greig Cartner, Mark Goodfellow.