Award hat-trick for Selkirk skipper

Ewan MacDougall (picture by Grant Kinghorn)Ewan MacDougall (picture by Grant Kinghorn)
Ewan MacDougall (picture by Grant Kinghorn)
Despite season 2019-20 ending prematurely because of the coronavirus pandemic, Selkirk Rugby Club was able to reflect on a highly successful campaign at Friday’s annual player awards night.

To participate in the ceremony, the Philiphaugh club’s coaches, players and rugby officials were all digitally linked via the ‘Zoom’ computer application, with all nine awards being presented to each individual winner ‘virtually’.

“It was a great idea to hold the awards in this way,” said Selkirk chairman Dennis Henderson. “Everyone seemed to enjoy joining up with their team-mates on-line and having a bit of banter.

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“The coaches and players deserve huge credit for all the work they put in during the season. Reaching the Tennent’s Premiership play-offs was a great achievement by the 1st XV, while the club’s ‘A’ XV also managed a top four finish in Tennent’s East Reserve League 1.”

The night proved especially memorable for Selkirk 1st XV skipper Ewan MacDougall, who picked up three trophies.

“I’m obviously delighted to have been chosen for these awards but it’s really the whole team who deserve to take the credit,” said MacDougall.

“The boys really stuck in well over the season and reaching the play-offs gave everyone at the club a huge lift.

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“New coaches Scott Wight and Neil Darling got a great response from all the players and that certainly helped make my job as captain a lot easier.”

The awards night was chaired by Selkirk head coach Scott Wight, who congratulated the whole playing squad on their efforts throughout the year.

“One of the biggest plus-marks for me was the numbers at training,” said Wight.

“There was a huge buy-in from all the players and the hard work that went into training nights definitely had a positive effect on the 15 players who ran out to represent Selkirk every Saturday.”

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Another highlight of Selkirk’s season was the appointment of Wight as head coach of the Scotland Club XV for its matches against Ireland’s Club XV, as well as the selection of Ewan MacDougall and Aaron McColm for Scotland’s Club XV.

Selkirk’s director of rugby, Ewen Robbie, made special mention of the players’ enthusiastic support for the club’s recent community-based initiative, which had seen over £2000 raised for Selkirk Food Bank.

“One of the rugby board’s aims this year was to improve the teams’ community work and the players’ charity challenge earlier this month proved incredibly successful. Fraser Easson gets a club shop voucher for clocking up the most kilometres and the challenge proved a massive success.”

Addresses were also given by 1st XV and ‘A’ XV team managers Tom Ramage and John Smail, while player Matthew Francis proposed a special toast in memory of the club’s late president, Gus Boag.

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Selkirk ‘A’ player-coach David Cassidy received a special award in recognition of a Philiphaugh playing career stretching over four decades.

The furthest-flung ‘Zoom’ participant was 1st XV player Henry Bithray, who joined in the online chat from his home in New Zealand. Award winners:

1st XV Players’ Player of the Year and Boag Cup (Selkirk RFC Player of the Year) – Ewan MacDougall.

Tom Henderson Trophy (special achievement by a 1st XV player) – Ewan MacDougall and Aaron McColm (joint winners).

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Oliver Lawson Quaich (top 1st XV try scorer) – Henry Bithray (nine tries).

Neil Redpath Cup (most committed player) – Callum McNeill.

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

‘A’ XV Players’ Player of the Year – Scott Clark.

Bell Cup (best tackler) – Scott McClymont.

Gary Selkirk Cup (club’s best trainer) – Ryan Cottrell.

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