President’s Message for 2020

Message from Club President Mark Wetton

2019 was a year of change for our club, but thankfully most of it for good. For me, it was a personal honour to be elected as Club President at the start of the new season.

Firstly, the performance of the senior team has been superb this season. Promotion last season was a real highlight, but to now sit within touching distance of the new league’s summit is absolutely phenomenal.

Special mention must go to our new head coach Jimmy Samuel and his coaching team of Nick Martin, Mark Reilly, Nick Cram and Iain McEwan. Jimmy has been a fantastic addition since formally coming on board this year. The senior team are performing well and boys are training with a smile on their faces (mostly!).

As well as bringing in some new boys, Jimmy and the coaches have put a lot of work into refining our overall game strategy as well as upskilling the team in both the basics and the finer points. Our lads are doing the right things and we’re on the right course.

The Juniors section also had a busy year with numerous events, tournaments and matches, and it’s great to see young people of many ages playing and enjoying the sport we all love week in, week out.

Fundraising, finances and sponsorship

Huge thanks should of course go to our sponsors, funders and partners for their continued support of our club.

On that point, fundraising is still absolutely vital to our club’s long-term survival and progression. We need absolutely everyone involved with our club to help out, whether through finding new sponsorship, helping at our events or otherwise.

Our clubhouse bar has also seen a bit of a change with James and Amanda coming in, and it’s in a good place financially.

While our finances are stable, we cannot rest on our laurels. Raising funds should be on everyone’s mind.

Off the field

We’ve had some big wins off the park. Our social events – such as Fireworks Night – were well-attended and have definitely boosted the club’s reputation in the local community. The Cow Pat competition in particular raised a lot of money for the club.

The addition of our new portable, rechargeable floodlights is a game-changer for our teams. Having the flexibility to train when and where we want – especially during the winter months – will benefit our club for years to come.

Where next?

So where next for Bannockburn? The Committee has a clear vision in that we want to make our club a great place for all ages to play rugby and enjoy the social side. We want to maintain our progress on the pitch – and a seconds team is still high on our agenda.

Finally, I would like to put on record our gratitude and appreciation for the work done by Bannockburn RFC’s volunteers. Without their help, we wouldn’t have the great teams and club we have today. 2020 promises to be even better.

Bannockburn 26 : 10 Dundee Morgan

Bannockburn 26 : 10 Dundee Morgan

Bannockburn saw off a spirited Dundee Morgan side in their final game of 2019, capping a fine year of rugby with a sixth consecutive league victory.

For the sixth game in a row Burn racked up a bonus point win, on a day where the elements were friends to no man.

It took just minutes for Bannockburn to open the scoring with centre Sandy Dove crossing over with a fine opportunist effort straight from the training pitch.

The Burn men were two tries to the good just a few moments later when lock Chris Ireland bundled over the flailing Morgan defenders to cross the line.

Flanker Mark Hunter was making a nuisance of himself all game, with Morgan seemingly unable to cope with the flanker’s line-breaking runs from deep.

No. 8 Nick Cram added a third try before the break to give Bannockburn a commanding lead, taking a quick ball from the scrum and touching down acrobatically between the posts.

To their credit, Dundee Morgan came into the second half with renewed vigour and ran over two tries in quick succession, both originating from lineouts deep in Burn territory.

The Bannockburn defenders stood firm in the mudscape however, nullifying most of what the Dundee side could throw at them.

The first half saw an excellent display of attacking rugby from Bannockburn, but the second belonged to the defence – with Burn’s scrum in particularly fine form.

Head Coach Jimmy Samuel came on as a late substitute and ploughed through several Morgan defenders to touch down in the last play of the game. David Grainey added the extras for his third conversion of the match.

Man of the match: David Grainey


  • Sandy Dove
  • Chris Ireland
  • Nick Cram
  • Jimmy Samuel


  • David Grainey (3)

Montrose 17 : 32 Bannockburn

Bannockburn laid an old ghost to rest with a deserved victory in Montrose.

Vengeance was always on the cards for a Burn side still hurting from last season’s single point loss against this weekend’s opposition.

Neither team would find a friend in the weather. The ball was wetter than an otter’s pocket and resulted in a slew of errors from both sides.

Bannockburn showed great determination and physicality at the set piece, and eventually crossed the line from a penalty in the Montrose 22.

From the restart, Montrose’s sloppy work at the breakdown led to Bannockburn kicking for touch and winning the lineout. The resultant maul – fast becoming a powerful weapon in the Burn armoury – led to another try.

Montrose jolted into life and drew level through two unanswered tries, one of them an excellent 70m effort from their pacy winger. Bannockburn added another score to lead 15-10 at the break.

Bannockburn’s response on the restart was to score the best try of the match.

From a lineout near the Montrose tryline, Hunter won the ball against head. The ball made its way to fly-half Stuart McGown who sent a pinpoint cross-field kick that dumbfounded the Montrose defence.

Ryan Jones was on hand to grab the ball 5 metres from the tryline, sidestep the static Montrose defenders and cross over – a strong contender for try of the season for the winger.

Burn turned the screw in the second half – capitalising on their control of the game as well as a string of errors from the Montrose defence – with Mark Alexander and Scott McGown adding tries to cap off an excellent, disciplined team performance.

Special mention must go to Bannockburn veteran Scott McGown, who racked up a hat-trick of tries from the wing.

Bannockburn’s next match is at home to Glenrothes 2nd XV on Saturday 23 November, KO 2pm.

Man of the Match: Mark Alexander

Kieran Penny
Scott McGown (3)
Ryan Jones
Mark Alexander

David Grainey

Image credit: Montrose RFC

Cow Pat Compo winners announced

Winners of Bannockburn RFC’s very first Cow Pat competition have been announced.

The overall winner of the £500 prize was entry White 1878 (Tom Young), whilst the following entries won four ‘splatter’ mini-prizes:

  • White 111: Joe Miller
  • White 336: Shona Dove
  • Yellow 1381: Bruce Platform syndicate
  • White 517: Claire Baxter c/o Bannockburn Nursery

Waid Academy 14 : 29 Bannockburn RFC

Bannockburn chalked up their third win in four league games away to Waid Academy FP this past weekend.

Waid – so often a thorn in Bannockburn’s side in years gone by – struggled to contain the well-oiled Bannockburn machine.

The Burn came out of the blocks at great speed and intensity, with flanker Mark Hunter scoring within minutes of kick-off.

Bannockburn were going through the phases well, asserting control and maintaining consistency against a disciplined Waid side.

Centre Joe Wright and winger Ryan Jones added tries before halftime, helping the Burn to 17-7 lead at the break.

It was Waid Academy who capitalised after the restart, taking advantage from a series of penalties which saw the Burn side marched back over sixty metres for being offside and handling in the ruck.

However, Bannockburn controlled the game from start to finish – a 90% tackle success rate the marker of their defensive qualities – with a solid display across the pitch.

Hooker Russell Brown crossed the line for a try before captain Calum Bruce added his own to top off a mature performance for Bannockburn.

Man of the Match: Russell Brown

Bannockburn 08:26 Kinross RFC

Bannockburn’s Caley Bowl run was brought to an end after a hard-fought match against Kinross Rugby Club.

Burn controlled the majority of possession in the first half, but still found themselves second best to a confident Kinross side with a strong kicking game in wet conditions.

The Burn’s phase play was excellent and controlled the breakdown well. The home side’s kick and chase worked well, putting pressure and forcing mistakes, but ultimately the visitors went in at the break nine points ahead.

Industrious club captain Bob Conway was in effervescent form, causing problems for the visitors all match with his physicality and work rate.

Bannockburn took their foot off the gas after the restart and failed to run as hard as they were tackling, giving the visitors too much credit – something the disciplined team from Kinross used to their advantage with some decent running from depth.

Veteran No. 8 Nick Cram scored Bannockburn’s solitary try, running over in the final ten minutes to add to Grainey’s early penalty. Man of the match was Iain Duncan.

Bannockburn RFC’s next game is away to Waid Academy FP RFC on Saturday 12 October.

On Sunday 13 October, the local community is invited to take in the Bannockburn Club Day at the Heritage Centre (09:00-11:00) followed by the Scotland World Cup match in the clubhouse.

Bannockburn 39:24 Crieff & Strathearn

Bannockburn continued their fine league form with a win over a well-drilled Crieff & Strathearn side.

The Burn scored after just ten minutes through versatile No. 8 Mark Hunter. The Crieff side were penalised on the wing less than 10 metres from the tryline – Hunter took a quick tap and ran over for the opening try.

From the restart, the Bannockburn team continued to apply pressure and increased their advantage through a David Grainey penalty after a cynical foul.

The Bannockburn forwards were working well as a unit, with Hunter in particular showing fine form. A solid Burn scrum saw Shaw, Alexander and Conway make excellent ground into the Crieff half, only for a maul to be turned over.

Straight from the training ground

A well-practiced routine saw Bannockburn centre Sandy Dove bursting through the traps, only to be stopped short a couple of metres from the tryline. In support was the omniscient Mark Hunter, who caught the offload and ran between the sticks for his second try of the afternoon.

Possession exchanged hands as much as territory, but Burn always looked dominant. Before the half was over Burn won a Scrum just outside the Crieff 22, which saw the ball go through the back line. Winger Iain Duncan beat two defenders and scored out wide.

Burn’s discipline faltered at the restart, and three quick penalties gifted Crieff the territory they needed to score under the posts. Crieff applied more pressure in the second half and added another try, which was converted.

Bannockburn gained a second wind after Crieff scored, with Shaw and Conway working well from the lineout deep in Crieff territory. Scrum half Bruce passed the ball to the blindside, with flanker Mark Alexander bundling over for a try in the corner.

Both teams were up for the fight, and Crieff responded with a try of their own after a Burn player was sent to the bin. The Bannockburn riposte saw a second try for Alexander and a first try of the season for replacement wing Tony Vines.

Crieff had the final say with a converted try in the last minute.

Kinross test in cup

Bannockburn’s next game is a home cup fixture against Kinross RFC on Saturday 5 October, KO 1pm. The club will be hosting a give it a go session of touch rugby for all in Kings Park on Saturday 28 September from 1pm.

Mark Hunter (x2)
Mark Alexander (x2)
Iain Duncan
Tony Vines

David Grainey (x3)

David Grainey

Andrew Chalmers

Bannockburn 38:0 Strathmore 2XV

Bannockburn recorded a dominant 38-0 victory over Strathmore 2nds to pick up their first points of the league season.

After an edgy opening, Burn ran in five unanswered tries – full back David Grainey scoring all conversions and a penalty to boot.

Bannockburn’s energetic centre pairing of Dove and Wright caused all sorts of problems for Strathmore, and they were rewarded with three tries between them.

The game saw a number of penalties for both sides, which broke up the flow of the match. Both Bannockburn and Strathmore received yellow cards, with the visitors losing a man to red card in the first half.

Lock Steven Flynn came on in the second half and immediately made his mark, scoring after a superb display of physicality.

Strathmore struggled to cope with Bannockburn side – even more so after losing men to injury and the sending off. To their credit, Strathmore played on with a depleted side and still pressured the Bannockburn players across the pitch.

Bannockburn ran in their last try in the dying minutes with an excellent pitch-length effort starting on their own tryline.

Under pressure from the Strathmore ranks, the ball made its way to a young forward between the sticks, who managed to punt the ball clear. The kick released Bannockburn up the park, with Stuart McGown eventually crossing for a try.

Bannockburn could have scored more, but have plenty to be positive about after a comprehensive victory.

  • Man of the match: Steven Flynn
  • Tries: Joe Wright (2), Sandy Dove, Steven Flynn, Stuart McGown
  • Cons: David Grainey (5)
  • Pens: David Grainey

Rugby World Cup

With the Rugby World Cup kicking off this weekend, the Bannockburn clubhouse will be showing the first Scotland game on Sunday 22 September (KO 08:45am), followed by the England match and a game of social touch rugby. Breakfast rolls and beverages will be on offer – all are welcome.

Rugby coach education courses: August 2019

Coaches spend every training session giving players feedback to help them improve, but who helps coaches improve? Some of the upcoming courses in the region this August is a good starting point.

Games Builder Workshop: Stirling County: 14 August 2019


Development Conference: Strathallan School: 18 August 2019


AGLV P4-P7: Kirkcaldy: 19 August 2019

P4/5 link:

P6/7 link:

First Aid in Rugby: Online/Ongoing


Hive Platform/Rugby Right: Online/Ongoing