Glasgow University Rugby Football Club got their season campaign off to a strong start, claiming the runners-up spot after reaching the finals of the St. Hellier Pear Cider National 10’s competition, held recently in Newcastle.
Despite a shaky start in the group stages against sides from Newcastle Falcons Academy and Northumbria University, the home squad began to settle and found early pace against a competitive Durham side. Glasgow managed to take the initiative, getting points on the board within a minute of kick off, with first team captain Matthew Horner setting up fresher Robbie Shedden to score his first try for the club, after a spectacular forty metre run past the opposing defence. Subsequent tries from Archibald Millar and Craig Batchelor saw Glasgow impose their authority on their rivals and put them in good stead for the latter stages of the competition.
The final group game saw GURFC face Newcastle Intra-Mural, a highly prolific squad who put Glasgow through their paces on the pitch.
In a closely fought contest, which saw both teams tied on fourteen points each going into the dying minutes of the game, the deadlock was broken by Ian Watkinson, who despite being intercepted by the opposition prop, managed to quickly recycle the ball to give Andrew Brown a try under the posts for the win.
Finishing third in a group of five saw Glasgow qualify for the plate competition and set up a tie with Newcastle Agrics in the semi-finals.
Despite their opposition’s apparent weight advantage, and their high profile in the competition, Glasgow ran riot, the second half seeing the GU side score five successive tries, with a hat-trick from Kyle Matheson.
The finals saw Glasgow compete against last year’s cup winners, Cheeky Ladies RFC.
A tough first half saw the university squad trailing by five points, eventually losing narrowly 12 – 10 at the final whistle. Despite an outrageous schoolboy dummy from Robbie Shedden, which succeeded in deceiving the opposition defence, and Alastair Fison’s resulting try, the fightback proved to be a case of too little, too late.
Following the competition, club captain Ian Watkinson was pleased with his team’s performance, and was keen to give praise to the club’s newest players: ‘After a troubling start we came to show our class, we were unfortunate not to win in the finals. This year we have some real talent coming through including fresher Robbie Shedden, just to name a few.’