Amalgamation bid dead in the water as PSA and Wands remain separate

Rugby news
Rugby news

The latest proposal for Hawick’s two semi-junior rugby clubs to amalgamate has been thrown out, falling at the first hurdle as members from both PSA and Wanderers voted against joining forces during Monday night’s extraor+dinary general meetings.

The two clubs failed to secure the 75 per cent vote needed to move onto the next stage of the process and will now continue as two separate teams following the latest attempt to combine the sides.

Hawick Wanderers president Ian Graham told Hawick News: “The idea of the two sides joining together is over now and put to bed I suspect. We have obviously tried this a few times over the past couple of years and is not something new but I think it is over with.

“PSA and ourselves will continue on as normal and will look to the future of semi-junior rugby in Hawick.

“We now look to the positives and the continued growth of the Wanderers rugby club. PSA have been having a hard time of late with declining playing numbers and it is a credit to them to be still going following the hard times at the beginning of the season.

“With football taking a lot of boys away from rugby it is always going to be difficult to maintain good numbers which is why PSA have had a hard time recently.

“We know that to continue this good run for Wanderers rugby we cannot allow ourselves to rest easy. We could quickly find ourselves in the same predicament PSA are in which does not help anybody

“ In a few years’ time when the nucleus of this team we have now moves on to other levels of rugby we must have players lined up and ready to replace them.”

Wanderers currently sit third in the Borders Semi-Junior League with a Scottish Bowl appearance to come against Mackie Academy, while PSA have had to endure a difficult season that almost saw the Burnfoot-based outfit quit the league altogether.

An annual struggle for players culminated with PSA announcing in August that they would be unable to fulfil their 2013/14 fixtures due to a shortage of players with only 10 boys signed up for the coming season. Scotland’s oldest semi-junior team then performed a dramatic U-turn, vowing to field a side thanks to ex-players and committee members coming forward to offer help.

The Wanderers president revealed that the vote was close and could have easily gone either way, a notion that will be hard to stomach for some PSA members as their club now faces an uncertain future.

“The vote was close, there were maybe one or two votes in it which could have swung the decision either way. For the members to support the amalgamation the vote needed 75 per cent and it fell just short.”

Mr Graham added: “If the vote had gone the other way we could still have seen a negative outcome as there were quite a few clubs in the semi-junior league who were against or had reservations with us joining [together].

“The next stage of the process was the other 10 teams were to hold a meeting which both ourselves and PSA would be excluded from to discuss what implications could arise from the
amalgamation and if the teams supported it.

“So this was the first step of what could have been a much longer process than many would think and we didn’t get past it. The other clubs could have voted against the amalgamation and we would be where we are now.

Hawick PSA president Billy McCracken was not able to provide a comment before we went to press.