Darling pledges one last season at Philiphaugh

Top table guests at Friday's dinner. Back row: John Rutherford (sen. vice-pres.), Neil Darling (1st XV captain), Ian Walker (secy). Seated: Roy Laidlaw, Eric Forster (chairman), Stevie Ellwood.
Top table guests at Friday's dinner. Back row: John Rutherford (sen. vice-pres.), Neil Darling (1st XV captain), Ian Walker (secy). Seated: Roy Laidlaw, Eric Forster (chairman), Stevie Ellwood.

ONE of Selkirk rugby’s all-time greats, Neil Darling, announced he would play one more season before hanging up his boots at Friday night’s annual dinner.

Addressing 80 members and guests in the Philiphaugh Suite, the 1st XV skipper said: “I always said I would finish when I was 30, and injuries are now starting to take their toll on my body. I feel the time is right to let the younger ones come through and show what they’ve got.”

Darling went on to thank the coaches and players for all their efforts during the past 10 months, making special mention of the tremendous contributions of players Rory Aglen and Fraser Jack – both of whom have played their last games for the club.

Former Scotland and British Lions captain Roy Laidlaw proposed the toast to Selkirk RFC and the Game of Rugby during which he commended the club on its rugby policy.

He declared: “I always enjoy watching Selkirk teams play, and have long admired the way Selkirk has managed to streamline its school and youth rugby. If only every club was like Selkirk with regard to producing its own players, coaches and volunteer helpers, as well as upgrading and modernising its facilities. It’s definitely the way forward.”

At the start of the evening chairman Eric Forster thanked all at the club for their efforts during a long, hard season.

The toast to the guests was proposed by secretary Ian Walker, with a witty reply coming from ex-Langholm Cornet Stevie Ellwood. The vote of thanks was proposed by Selkirk senior vice-president John Rutherford.

Fly-half Gavin Craig was appointed Selkirk captain for next season, with wing-forward Callum Johnston chosen as vice-captain.

Player awards for 2011/12

Boag Cup (Selkirk RFC Player of the Year) – Callum Johnston.

Oliver Lawson Quaich (top 1st XV try scorer) – Fraser Harkness.

Neil Redpath Cup (most committed ‘A’ XV player) – Fraser Jack.

Wat Henderson Quaich (outstanding performer in first season at Philiphaugh) – Callum McColm.

Tom Henderson Trophy (special achievement by 1st XV player) – Rory Aglen.

Bell Cup (best tackler) – Alistair Lyall.

Gary Selkirk Cup (club’s best trainer) – Steven Renwick.

Brian Roden Cup (most improved Stormers player) – Robert Cook.

1st XV Player’s Player of the Year – Callum Marshall.

A XV Player’s Player of the Year – James Bett & Scott McDonald.

Stormers Player’s Player of the Year – Willie McClymont.