Owen Weatherhead confirms Berwick RFC will accept promotion after "superb season"

L:R Belford boys. Scott Owens, Cammy Rogerson, Owen Weatherhead and Ali Grieve. (Pic: Mike Hardie)
L:R Belford boys. Scott Owens, Cammy Rogerson, Owen Weatherhead and Ali Grieve. (Pic: Mike Hardie)

Team manager Owen Weatherhead confirmed that Berwick will be competing in the National 3 next season, after a "superb" season - which sees them undefeated to this point.

The title has always looked likely for a Berwick side that have simply been a class above, but promotion to the unregionalised National League 3 can either be accepted or rejected - with the club giving that decision to the players.

Berwick Team manager Owen Weatherhead

Berwick Team manager Owen Weatherhead

The players, according to team manager Owen Weatherhead, were unanimous in their desire to play at the higher level.

"We are going to take promotion," he confirmed to the Berwickshire News.

"We have already looked at the teams in the league above and what we are going to have to do. The recruitment drive has started and we are hopeful of getting a few boys in to bolster the squad.

"Although the squad is good enough as it is, it probably just needs three or four just to add to the numbers because it is tough going into the national leagues. But we are very much looking forward to the challenge."

Berwick already won the Borders Shield, earlier this season

Berwick already won the Borders Shield, earlier this season

Promotion comes without a defeat, so far, for Berwick. However, they were behind at half-time against Broughton on Saturday, with the manager putting that down to a few factors.

"There were nerves and silly mistakes led to their tries. We were missing one-on-one tackles which we haven't missed all season - we can put that down to nerves.

"But we had only had the ball half a dozen times and had scored three times, so we knew if we got control of the ball in the second half then we knew we would be OK.

"The talk at half time was don't panic, keep doing what we are doing and it will all work out in the end and thankfully it did."

Weatherhead is on course to guide Berwick through an undefeated campaign

Weatherhead is on course to guide Berwick through an undefeated campaign

Berwick now have just two games left to play, against Forrester on April 20 and Portobello on April 27. Weatherhead admitted that he will not be 100% satisfied unless defeat is avoided in those two matches.

"I know it's going to be tough because we are committed to the Border Sevens circuit as well, but I think we will commit fully to those two games and go the whole league campaign unbeaten.

"It will be tricky. There are now four teams getting relegated out of the East 1, and Portobello and Forrester are right in the mix, so they are going to be fighting for their lives.

"We will take the professional attitude we have had all season and go and try to win both those games."

Andrew Skeen in action against Broughton (Picture: Mike Hardie)

Andrew Skeen in action against Broughton (Picture: Mike Hardie)

In terms of next season's division, there were a few long trips on the cards - but some of those now look unlikely with Orkney sitting in the relegation zone and Gordonians (Aberdeen) topping the table and gaining promotion. Caithness will provide the longest trip for Berwick.

Those trips, or a lack of, were not a deciding factor in the decision to go up.

"It wouldn't have made a difference at all, we said we wanted to go back to National League no matter who was there. If Orkney do stay up and we have to go there then we will embrace it like we did the last time - when we set off at seven on the Saturday morning and didn't get back until six on the Sunday night!

"It was a fabulous weekend, we got a draw as well, so you have just go to embrace these things."

The Berwick team manager summed up by thanking everyone involved with the title success.

"We used in the region of 30-35 players to win the league and every single one of them has been outstanding.

"Special mention to the president Colin Frame, he has been a tremendous president - he's come to the end of his two year term and he has been brilliant for myself, Colin, Paul and the players. It has been a good year."