Lasswade Rugby Club has been promoted to the BT National League 2 after results last weekend went in their favour.
Last Saturday’s match between St Boswell’s and Dumfries would decide both the champions and the runners up in National League 3.
Lasswade needed Dumfries to win or, failing that, to restrict St Boswells to less than four tries.
To help their erstwhile Galloway rivals along, there were in attendance almost as many Lasswade members as either St Boswells or Dumfries supporters.
In the event, Lasswade needn’t have worried.
Although the hosts scored first and threatened to score again throughout the game, the more structured and expansive league leaders kept them out and they ran in three tries of their own to finish comfortably on 24-5.
Despite needing Dumfries’ help at the end, Lasswade well deserve their bounce-back to Division 2.
They won 16 of their 22 games collecting 17 4-try bonus points along the way and in four of the six losses they qualified for the losers’ bonus point.
They came away empty handed from just two encounters.
On several occasions they fell behind but dug in and pulled the game back in the latter stages, playing 15 man rugby for the full 80 minutes.
Club president Ian Barr is delighted that his team have achieved an immediate bounce back to Division 2 and believes that his time they are better equipped to stay there.
In Division 2 Lasswade will resume rivalries with Preston Lodge and Peebles and Bigger among others and, with Dumfries, will change places with Ardrossan Accies and Hillhead/Jordanhill who drop down to National 3.
As well as the 25 or so players who have turned out for the first fifteen, Barr attributes the team’s success to the coaching from Brian Hughes and the leadership-by example of captain/veteran Richard Borthwick.
Unlike some clubs at this level who recruit players with offers of payment or from overseas, Barr is proud of the fact that all the Lasswade players are amateur and nearly all are “home grown” though, as an open and friendly club, it also always welcomes new players of all ages and abilities from any direction.
The club has long had active and thriving mini (primary), midi (secondary) and youth (16-17) sections and for the past few years has been an active investor and partner in the School of Rugby at Lasswade High School.
Finally Barr pointed out that providing rugby locally and in the National League can be a costly business and the club is very grateful to the existing local and generous sponsors, but more assistance in cash or kind is always welcome.