WANDERERS President’s XV, excellently led by back row star Grahame Mooney, as expected comfortably defeated the Captain’s XV in the traditional Boxing Day challenge match at Fort Matilda and regained the Yorkshire Building Society Trophy for 2014.

It was a star-studded side full of players who normally inhabit the top tier of the Scottish club game who came together to give the Captain’s side, made up of the current Wanderers first team players, their latest beating.

For the guests, Grant Anderson, Scott Sutherland, Jack Macfarlane and Brendan McGroarty all showed their quality as they joined skipper Mooney to form the back bone of a side that looked comfortably in control throughout.

The narrow 17-7 scoreline didn’t reflect the gulf in class between the sides but the President’s team entered into the spirit of the contest by rotating their roster at regular intervals in order to give several fringe players the opportunity of some game time.

The Captain’s side were severely hampered by the late withdrawal of back row star Martin Lavelle, but they showed some spirit in defence particularly through full-back Leigh Tyley, who played through the pain barrier despite feeling unwell for much of the match.

The three tries to one tally was adequate reward for the President’s side’s attacking efforts and, had it not been for the sterling defensive work of Tyley, the margin of victory could well have been much greater.

The contest was played in great spirit and was expertly marshalled by local referee John McIntyre, who ensured that proceedings ran smoothly throughout.

President John McDougall said: “I am naturally delighted to regain the Yorkshire Building Society Trophy on behalf of the President’s side and I’d like to thank coach Dave McVey and captain Grahame Mooney for taking charge of my team for the day.

“The Boxing Day fixture is always eagerly anticipated and, although there has to be winners and losers, it is really the taking part that matters most.

“I’d like to thank Murray MacDonald for putting together the Captain’s team and also the officials led by John McIntyre for ensuring fair play throughout.” A fine social occasion was thereafter enjoyed in the clubhouse by the attending masses and the trophy was formally presented to President’s XV captain Grahame Mooney who was, of course, magnanimous in victory.

Wanderers’ match next week at Kirkcaldy has been cancelled, meaning that their next outing is scheduled for Saturday 10 January when they travel to Laigh Bent to face table toppers Hamilton in the BT National League Second Division.

Wanderers are sponsored by Texas instruments.