Blimey, that was exciting. If it wasn’t for the fact that we came so close to relegation I would have to say that 2018/19 season was one of the best festivals of rugby I’ve been involved in my 35 years at Burnage RFC.
The financial shenanigans at National 3 and above now seem a distant past and I fear that the honour and excitement of competitive amateur rugby is lost at level 5 for most of us running grass roots clubs. Something that is proven with both Wilmslow and Vale of Lune returning to level 6 next year after just one season.
But that’s all OK. Look at the rugby we have all enjoyed at North 1 West for the last 8 months. Ours has been the most competitively fought level 6 league in the UK and I have to say that my commiserations go out to our friends and neighbours at Manchester, who did claim the last relegation slot going down with a whopping 62 points in the company of Anselmians and De La Salle who mustered only 20 points between them!
Lessons learned, it means our preparations for next year must be practically perfect in every way. Bring it on.
We lost to Broughton Park in our last game of the season on Saturday, a team that has shown ruthless efficiency since their promotion in 2018, the best defensive record and a strong attacking force up front all season, and a beacon for us to follow if we want to stay out of the dog fight again next year. Congratulations to them for a great season.
Somewhat inevitably the honours went to Carlisle for automatic promotion with a huge 105 points, with Blackburn entering the play offs also meeting the 100 point barrier. Good luck to both sides next season wherever they end up.
On behalf of Burnage RFC I would like to thank everyone that has been involved this year. Dave Muckalt and his coaching and Chloe’s medical teams have been brilliant and have managed player welfare at the highest level throughout the season, managing injuries (we’ve had a few!) and player rehab professionally with long term vision rather than short term fixes. Scotty as First Team manager, Rob Wellock as DOR and Mark Trehearn as fixtures secretary have all done a brilliant job too, making Burnage a great place to come and play rugby.
I would like to say a special thank you to Ralph Lawson, who after 5 years as Club Captain has decided to step down to concentrate on his own impressive game. He has been an inspirational leader as well as a quite brilliant player. I’ll take one out of two for another few seasons please Ralph and look forward to seeing you in the Burnage shirt again next year.
And another great note of thanks to Jim Williams, who stepped back in from retirement to shore up our front row this season, and who steps back to the biscuit tin of retirement in 2019. Thanks Jim.
IMPORTANT: THE AGM IS FRIDAY 3 MAY AT 7.00PM
Its not quite over yet. The Club Dinner and AGM will be held at the clubhouse on 3rd May. This is an important celebration to close our year and I urge all players and members to join us for both the AGM (your vote counts) and the dinner that follows. Please let your captains, the club house or Billy Dowdall (if you are an old fart) that you are coming.
Now time for a lie down.