TITLE chasers Glasgow Hawks will play just their second RBS National League match of 2013 this afternoon as they welcome Stewart’s Melville to Old Anniesland.
Due to call-offs and an extended run to the RBS West Regional Cup final, third-placed Hawks still have six league matches to play opposed to leaders Hawick and second-placed Watsonians who have just three.
Hawks are currently two points behind Watsonians – who have lost their last four league matches – and ten points behind Hawick with an automatic promotion place and a play-off spot still up for grabs.
Co-coaches Jamie Dempsey and Jimmy Sinclair are looking forward to Hawks’ league run-in, but will not be looking further than the next game.
Dempsey, who recently returned to coaching after having an appendix removed over Christmas, said: “The players are all buzzing about the run-in and the opportunity to push for promotion. Stewart’s Melville are a good team who on their day can beat anyone and did beat us earlier in the season, so the guys know they need to be at their best to collect the points in this one.
“Last week [in the RBS West Regional Cup final] was a good chance for some of our younger players to test themselves against a top-flight outfit in the shape of Ayr and they acquitted themselves well despite defeat. Now they are focused on ending the season on a high.”
Meanwhile, Hawick head coach Phil Leck has paid tribute to captain Greg Cottrell and the way he has led the team this term as the leaders head to Hamilton this afternoon.
The Greens are unbeaten in their last 11 league matches since September and Leck believes scrum-half Cottrell has played a big part in that run. The head coach said: “Greg is quite a quiet guy, but he leads by example and you very rarely see him make a mistake. Along with Rory Hutton and Lee Armstrong they have all been in good form and we know if we get the backs the ball they will score tries.”
Watsonians visit Biggar with their top two hopes fading, but will be determined to post a win at Hartreemill to keep the pressure on Hawick and Hawks.
Bottom club Jed-Forest host Selkirk in a crucial Borders derby while Kelso play Hillhead/Jordanhill with the home side missing Darren Gillespie who is off to New Zealand.