A ripped tendon in his finger stopped Jack Gordon from really getting muddy when Preston Lodge beat Dumfries Saints on Saturday before they got to lift the National 3 trophy.

It was a proud day for the flanker after he captained them all season and he got his hands on the trophy. Almost 100 people had travelled from East Lothian for the celebrations in Dumfries, before returning to Prestonpans to continue their celebrations. 

As the PL players, coaches and committee celebrated the success, they admitted feeling hard done by that they were relegated in the first place.

They had finished seventh in the league in 2022/23 before but reconstruction meant five teams - including PL - were relegated. 

The latest change in the game in Scotland to see the Super Series axed has added a bit of angst that things might be reconstructed again but Gordon says they'll let the powers-that-be make those decisions. 

“It was brilliant”, smiled Gordon. “A great day from start to finish. We had around 90 people come watch us away in Dumfries and it was more special to lift the trophy.

“It was so good. It was obviously raining very heavily as well so the boys were just diving about in the mud. It was great. You’d think [the weather] would dampen the spirits but it was great to get the win and finish the season on a high as well.

“The support this year has been brilliant. That’s one thing we’ve tried to do in the community and I feel as the season went on it got bigger and bigger - it helped us get over the line.

“With us winning it brings attention to the club. We’ve got a good baseline of supporters and to see some old faces come back to the club, guys who used to play, guys who supported and it just got bigger and we had some really good performances."

Gordon said he felt the club was "done over" by the league reconstruction

"It was a hard pill to swallow," he said. 

“We knew we didn’t do everything right last year so we came together and set our targets and goals and I think we surpassed every single one of them.

"It means the world to get back into the position and we think we can go in and do a good job and compete. We’ve done it over the past four or five years so we’re excited to give it another fresh start."

As well as getting back up to National 2, there was another more poignant push behind Preston Lodge getting over the line in the league.

Former club president Tam Jardine sadly passed away earlier this year and Gordon and his team-mates were desperate to do it for him.

The players had helped refurbish the clubhouse over the summer and Tam was on hand to cut the ribbon to reopen it in September, with it dedicated to the club stalwart.

An annual fixture with Musselburgh for the Jardine Cup is also played, with Tam's  son Brian president at the Stoneyhill club.

Gordon admits he was delighted they got to show him how much he meant to them before he passed away. 

He said: “Tam was brilliant and was a massive part of the club and community. He did so much for Preston Lodge over many years.

"He was a great guy and never had a bad word to say about anyone. It was devastating for all of us but what we wanted to do for him, even before he passed, was win the league for him. It brought us closer together and to win it for the end was superb. We had his granddaughter down and his son Brian down as well. I know they appreciated it massively.

“We’d go in and speak to Tam after the game and he was great. He was down at the Christmas doo and he was saying how much it meant to him and we got to build a lounge for him in the summer and it’s great he got to see it and have a few songs and a few drinks so it was brilliant.

"We just wanted to show him how much of an absolute legend he was.”

And Gordon is already thinking about next season. 

“We know we can go in and compete," the back-row said.

"We will sit down and chat and we’ll be looking to push as high up the division. The boys are buzzing to get back and they were hurt to fall out of that division last year so there’s a lot of anger and a lot of frustration so the boys are hungry for it.”