Drumlanrig keep tight grip on Keown Trophy

Keown Trophy winners Drumlanrig, skippered by Barrie McLean, with the spoils of their success after Saturday's final against Denholm
Keown Trophy winners Drumlanrig, skippered by Barrie McLean, with the spoils of their success after Saturday's final against Denholm

DRUMLANRIG primary school have been crowned kings of the Keown Trophy for the third year in a row.

The west end pupils produced top performances throughout the annual competition, which began several weeks ago.

Keown Shield winners Trinity celebrate their success over Wilton in the final

Keown Shield winners Trinity celebrate their success over Wilton in the final

Their efforts booked them a place in last Saturday’s grand final showpiece at a sun-kissed Mansfield Park, where they were up against a similarly impressive outfit from Denholm.

With a much larger squad, Drumlanrig started the match at full throttle and were four tries ahead of their opponents before Denholm’s coaches made some changes.

The village outfit may have been small in numbers but they were giants in terms of effort and endeavour.

Sadly for them, though, it wasn’t enough as Drumlanrig claimed the victory, with the full time score reading 8-4 in favour of the youngsters from Hawick.

In what was the 42nd year that the silverware has been contested, rugby development officer Rocky Johnstone said: “Denholm put up a really brave fight, but on the day, Drumlanrig were just too strong.”

In the Shield final, Trinity came out on top against Wilton – thanks in no small part to four tries from Billy McNeil – running out 7-5 winners.

Trinity and Stirches served up a real treat for the Chrystie’s Quaich. In what was proper end-to-end stuff, both teams matched the other try for try, but it was Stirches who came up with that all-important score to win 3-2.

And in the Chrystie’s Shield final, a Wilton/Burnfoot select edged out Denholm 7-3.

Johnstone admitted the signs were promising for the future of rugby in the town.

He added: “The standard was very good indeed and the tackling from all the teams was immense.

“I was really impressed by Denholm’s passing game and Drumlanrig’s physicality.

“It’s really exciting to see these primary seven pupils in action and, with them moving on to the high school, there is huge potential there to have a cracking team.”

The silverware and medals were presented by George Keown and Marion Chrystie.

Johnstone said: “A big thank you to them both for coming down, to everyone who helped out on the morning and to all the friends and family who came down to cheer on the teams. They helped to make a really terrific atmosphere.”