W K L (“Bill”) Relph

The death of the rugby club’s oldest surviving rugby internationalist Bill Relph at the age of 94 on 18th January 2023 has been reported.

Bill attended Daniel Stewart’s College playing in the school first XV from 1945-47, being pack leader in both seasons and made his FP 1st XV debut in 1951.

In 1953, and, again, the following year, he represented Edinburgh against Northumberland , while his breakthrough international season of 1954-55 also saw him hook for the capital in inter-district matches against the South and Glasgow, and play in three Murrayfield international trials.

As well as winning four caps for Scotland throughout the 1955 Five Nations Championship he was captain of the FP Rugby side which won the “unofficial” Scottish Rugby Club Championship in season 1957-58.

He made his debut against France away but his first international appearance at Murrayfield was a landmark occasion. The 14-8 victory over Wales on 5 February 1955, marked Scotland’s first win after a sequence of 17 successive defeats. And he followed that up three weeks later by sharing in the national team’s 12-3 triumph against Ireland. His final Scotland cap was in a narrow 6-9 loss against England at Twickenham. In 1956 he had Melrose Sevens success with the club before the club’s championship success of 1957-58 when 19 of 22 counting games were won.

In his later years he lived in Southport.

Oliver Hemming – Past President

The club is sad to report the death of Past President Oliver Hemming at the age of 92 on 11 January 2023.

Born in Edinburgh, Olly as he was commonly known, attended Daniel Stewart’s College before becoming a Chartered Accountant.  He was a Partner at Smith Hemming and Dean, Chartered Accountants (formerly Robertson Carphin & Company).  He was a past Treasurer of the Stewart’s FP Rugby Club between 1971 and 1973 and President of the Stewart’s Melville FP Club for 1983-84.

Rugby – Three FPs capped v Tonga in first Autumn International

Jamie Hodgson, George Turner and Ross Thompson

The Stewart’s Melville school and club community was delighted to see three Former Pupils take the field in Scotland’s 1st Autumn International v Tonga on Saturday 30th October. Jamie Hodgson winning his first cap and George Turner winning his 18th cap started the match and Ross Thompson came on at stand-off as a 60th minute replacement. George scored a try in the 60-14 win and Ross put over two conversions to get on the scoresheet. All three would have been well pleased with their contributions to Scotland’s win and we look forward to seeing the trio winning many more caps. In Pro rugby George and Ross are regular starters for Glasgow Warriors and Jamie for Edinburgh Rugby.

Club’s Beginnings – Early Playing Field at Ravelston

In 1886 former pupils of Stewart’s College induced the Merchant Company to lease for recreational purposes ground at Ravelston known as Honeyman’s field from the governors of Trinity Hospital at what is now the junction between Queensferry Terrace and Ravelston Dykes. In 1894 the Merchant Company acquired grounds at the present Inverleith before integrating Scottish Rugby’s next door “Union Field” in 1926.

Much more on this subject will appear in the club’s coming FP News.

1st XV back on top with PL win

15 February 2020

NL 2 – Stewart’s Melville 18 Preston Lodge 0

Preston Lodge visited Inverleith fourteen days after the our narrow cup win this time on league business in a game accompanied yet again by high winds and driving rain. Unlike last time Stew Mel pretty much dominated possession and secured a territorial advantage throughout and not just for half the game with the forwards putting in a strong performance. After a prolonged period of attack without yielding a try Stew Mel took the option of three points from a penalty and that remained the score at half-time.

Euan Morrison opens the scoring with a penalty

The second half started in similar fashion with Stew Mel kicking a second penalty for a 6-0 advantage after 46 minutes. Eventually the forward pressure told with a try by Scott Alldritt after 51 minutes in giving us an 11-0 lead which looked safe for the win given the elements. A further try late on and converted by Euan Morrison took the margin to 18 points which fairly reflected the dominance of Stew Mel and the four match points won took us out of fourth place to the top of the league. Seven games remain with only one of these against a top half team.

Scott Alldritt goes over for our 1st try after 51 minutes

Before the match the club’s pre match lunch was a near full house attended by 95 past players and guests with many of those present not seen at Inverleith for some time. Afterwards the stand was as well filled as it has been this season though that might have had something to do with the awful weather brought by “Storm Denis”. It was a great effort by the club to get so many to the lunch.

1st XV turn around 22-0 Cup deficit to win in final minutes

Saturday 1st February – Inverleith

Stew Mel turned around a 22-0 half-time deficit to achieve an unforeseen 34-29 win over Preston Lodge in the quarter-finals of the National League Cup. With several enforced changes from last week’s match v Dumfries the 1st half was one way traffic in the direction of the Stew-Mel goal line as PL crossed for four tries converting one. In a complete reversal in the second half Stew Mel making use of possession they never enjoyed in the first half scored with a drop and then ran in four tries to lead 27-22 with minutes left. PL then scored a try under the posts to regain the lead before Stew Mel got the decisive final try for 34-29. A semi-final v Lasswade beckons.

Jamie McGurk crosses for the winning try

1st XV win takes them to top

Saturday 25th January

The Stew Mel 1st XV scored an important win against fellow leaders Dumfries at Inverleith running in 5 tries in a 33-24 win. A fine attacking display had the team comfortably ahead most of the match but some slack defensive play kept the visitors just about within sight of a result most of the 80+ minutes.

An excited Bill McNie celebrates the final Stew Mel try

The National League 2 table now has Stew Mel on 53 points from 14 matches and no fewer than three sides Dumfries, GHK and Kirkcaldy on 51 points. Peebles are next with 49 points while PL with 46 points could yet be in the mix once all 22 games have been played.

Saturday sees the 1st XV in cup action v PL at Inverleith at 1.30pm before the televised Ireland v Scotland international

Rugby – 1st XV finish on high at mid season break with GHK win

The 1st XV secured an important 10-6 win against promotion contenders GHK at Old Annielsland in the last fixture before the mid season Christmas and New Year break.

With an outstanding home match against Dumfries yet to be played things are tight at the top of National League 2 – GHK still lead with 41 points from an 8-3 win lose record, Kirkcaldy have the same 8-3 record and 41 points, Dumfries an 8-2 record and 40 points, while Stew Mel’s 8-2 record has yielded two fewer bonus points for 38 points so all to play for in the New Year. Next up is Newton Stewart on Saturday 11th January at Inverleith (2pm).

For Phil Waine’s match report click here http://www.stewmelrugby.com/down-inverleith-way-14-3/ .

Rugby – Emphatic win for 1st XV

Saturday 23rd November

On a day of awful weather the 1st XV powered their way to an emphatic win over Hamilton with a display which belied the conditions, ultimately winning by 38-17. Having scored a pushover try to take the lead in the very first minute, apart from a spell in the first half when Hamilton seemed as though they might take control, this was as commanding a performance as any in the league season so far earning five points which leaves us within touching distance of the league leaders Dumfries who lost for a second week in a row.

Stew Mel’s sixth and final try

Rugby Sat 16th November – 1st XV win in Glasgow to maintain promotion challenge

Glasgow Academicals 8 Stewart’s Melville RFC 27

The 1st XV maintained their recent good run of results in National League 2 with a 27 – 8 win over Glasgow Academicals at New Anniesland on Saturday scoring four tries, two conversions and a penalty. The win puts them in 4th place on 33 points with a game in hand over the third and fourth placed teams, GHK (37 points) and Kirkcaldy (36 points). League leaders Dumfries (39 points) who we have beaten in the NL Cup lost their first league match of the season at home to Peebles 22-18.

Next Saturday, 23rd November we have a home match v Hamilton (kick off 2pm).