It is always exciting for players and spectators alike to follow the progress of teams and players throughout the season and when I started the Borders Rugby Rankings and the awards night three years ago I never realised how useful an exercise it was for many reasons.
It is always good to have competition in sport and every player and club wants to pit themselves against the best in the area.
As this season comes to a climax almost all of the awards in the ranking lists have been decided – including the main award for Borders Premiership team of the season where Melrose have now been crowned.
Their win against Dundee HSFP sent them five points clear of Gala.
They also have two other trophies to add to the Scottish Hydro Trophy as they will pick up the awards for most tries and best attack, with the Maroons winning the trophy for the best defensive figures.
We can now announce that the Borders Rugby Awards will take place on Wednesday, May 18, at Volunteer Hall in Galashiels – further details to follow. The annual event has been created to celebrate Borders rugby and reward players and clubs locally who have achieved great things.
As well as the awards for finishing top in the rankings, there are other special achievement awards and a cash prize to one club in a unique raffle on the night, the proceeds of which will go towards grassroots rugby in the area.
We only use data from league matches to ensure a level playing field for all teams who play the same number of games at their own level. This means no data from cup, shield, friendly or Border League games are considered.
With the Premier and National Leagues playing different numbers of games this season, we have had to split the seven Premier and four National League sides, hence creating a new trophy this season for the top team in the National League.
This is a pity as it would have been good to have seen if Melrose would have beaten Hawick YM (the inaugural winners) in the pound-for-pound system.
In the Premier individual rankings, Fraser Thomson has won the try-scoring award with 18 tries in 17 games.
Scott Wight is the individual points winner with 194, and still has a game to go to top the 200.
Hawick YM have already won all four team awards for the National League section with 90 league points, 118 tries, 803 points scored and just 184 conceded in their 19 unbeaten matches in the league.
YM’s Neil McColm is still top try-scorer in the National League from all Borders players, having scored 19 this season, while Lee Armstrong’s 261 points gives him a big lead.
Duns are favourites to win Best Local East League team although Gala YM are just five league points behind.