Summer is over

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THE wait is over and competitive club rugby will return to the southside on Saturday.

Cartha came within a game of promotion last year, but, in losing to GHA it is the Braidholm side who will be competing in the National league this year, while Cartha remain with Whitecraigs in Scottish rugby’s third tier — Championship A.

GHA lost youngsters James Malcolm and John Brogan but added a new hooker in New Zealander Reid Wilson and Scotland under 18 winger, James Couper.

Former Scotland u18 utility forward Adam Barnett has rejoined the club from Hamilton and will boulster the squad when they host Stewarts’ Melville when they open their league campaign on Saturday.

Cartha, who host Dumfries this weekend, have to replace captain Graham Williamson who has joined Ayr, but welcome Stirling County’s Ross Aitken and Fraser Paul from Dumfries to the first XV.

Coach Gary Grant told ExtraSport: “It’s a new-look team, as we have lost nine forwards. It will take us a while to get going.”

Mark Senter will take charge of Whitecraigs for the first time in a competitive fixture against Hamilton on Saturday.

He said: “The improvement since the start of pre-season has been significant. I am extremely confident we will surprise a few teams.”