Boroughmuir head coach Bruce Aitchison has praised his players’ togetherness and team spirit after they were crowned RBS National League champions on Saturday – without even playing a match.
Kelso’s well deserved 26-13 win over Watsonians, the only team who could have mathematically caught ’Muir at the start of the weekend, gave the title to the Meggetland men with two matches to spare.
The club have bounced back well from relegation last year and Aitchison and Ben Fisher have really galvanised their group of players.
In a tight league with a number of clubs of a similar standard, Boroughmuir have managed to eke out results when others perhaps may have lost.
Key to their success was keeping captain Andy Rose at the club last summer after others like Damien Hoyland, Keith Buchan and Alex Henderson all moved on to pastures new, while arrivals from the lower leagues such as Cal Davies and Alex Cox have made a big difference.
Aitchison, who did not attend the Watsonians-Kelso match at Myreside himself, but got regular updates from Boroughmuir members via text message, said: “I wasn’t expecting us to win the league this week, but I am delighted for everyone involved at the club. When I came in last summer I knew we had quite a job on our hands because, whenever a team gets relegated, things change and we had to rebuild in a way.
“What has really pleased me is that it has not just been about 15 or 20 players, but about the whole club.
“Now the hard work really begins to try to prepare the squad for the top flight, but it is a challenge that excites us all.”
Boroughmuir are likely to be presented with the trophy at Hartreemill on 1 March, the day they play Biggar.
The race for second place and a play-off spot took a dramatic turn as Watsonians loss, coupled with Stewart’s Melville’s 34-10 win over Hillhead/Jordanhill put the Inverleith men in pole position.
At Myreside, Kelso’s forward pack gained dominance early on and it proved the catalyst for a fine display as they completed the double over Watsonians.
A try hat-trick by flying winger Matt Morrell led the way at Inverleith as Stewart’s Melville leapt into second place with that bonus-point victory over Hillhead/Jordanhill.
It means they are now four points ahead of Watsonians with two matches, including one against the Myresiders, to go.
In the other match played at the weekend Peebles won 27-10 at Selkirk.