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Highland Stags win Saltire Division to become Scottish champions after defeating Dumfries Hunters

By Andrew Henderson

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Highland Stags are Saltire Division champions after a one-sided victory over Dumfries Hunters last weekend.

Highland Stags defeated the Dumfries Hunters to become Saltire Division Champions.
Highland Stags defeated the Dumfries Hunters to become Saltire Division Champions.

The team, who train at the Merkinch Local Nature Reserve in Inverness, knew going into the match that a win would be enough to see them crowned as the best side in the league.

There was no chance of them buckling under that pressure though, as they ran out 46–6 winners in Dumfries.

For defensive co-ordinator Billy Mill, it was the best performance of the season at just the right time to cap off a fantastic year.

“I’m absolutely delighted, the whole team are,” Mill said.

“It just went our way on Sunday, it was one of those days where everything came together nicely in all phases of the game.

“Our offence has been sort of hot and cold all year, but they really seemed to find their groove and got going. Once they started, they never really stopped.

“It was our best performances of the season by far, just when we needed it most.

“It’s exactly what we could have hoped for. We weren’t sure what we were going to be facing all year in terms of the level of competition, but the guys worked hard in every game and they deserved the results.”

Winning the league is made all the more remarkable by the fact that the Stags are not even a full member of the BAFA National League.

It has been on the club’s agenda for years, never quite getting accepted into the fold, but after beating full members to the Saltire Division title it now feels like only a matter of time before their membership gets upgraded.

“We’re officially an associate team, so we’re not actually officially in the league yet,” Mill explained.

“We were the team they would take in to push about a little bit and make the numbers up, but we’ve been scrapping to get in the league for years.

“We kept getting rejected, but we knew that if we were competitive this year then we had an outside chance of getting in next year.

“Our goal was to be competitive but we overshot our goal. We’re confident that they’re going to be letting us in now.

“I’m sure there will be some sort of league reshuffle, but I’m sure they will find a spot for us. We’ve earned it.

“It’s been a slow process, we’ve attempted to get in the league a number of times, but it has all come together quite nicely for us this year.”

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