Heriot’s hope bumper crowd can spur them to win

Stuart Edwards, left, in action for Stirling County against Heriot's in 2010. Picture: TSPL

Stuart Edwards, left, in action for Stirling County against Heriot's in 2010. Picture: TSPL

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Heriot’s will hope to be cheered on by a bumper crowd this afternoon when they take on Boroughmuir at Goldenacre in the BT Premiership.

The capital club have named today ‘Fill the Stand day’ and, as has happened in previous seasons, they are hoping to tempt members of the wider rugby community as well as families to the match to showcase the club game and raise funds for the club’s chosen charity CCLASP (Children with Cancer and Leukemia Advice and Support for Parents).

There will be food and drink stalls, inflatables for the children and large screens in the clubhouse showing the Ryder Cup action, but the main draw may well just be the live rugby with Heriot’s having won three matches in a row.

After winning the BT Charity Shield against Melrose last month Heriot’s were out of sorts in their opening day league loss to Glasgow Hawks. However, since then they have defeated Hawick, Stirling County and Edinburgh Accies and although they are still short of the form that saw them win the Scottish Cup last term they are certainly getting into their stride.

Having had to bide his time in the second XV and then on the bench behind the likes of Rory Carmichael and Gregor McNeish, Scotland Club XV cap Stuart Edwards is handed his first top team start at the club since arriving from County in the summer.

With the ever-reliable Graham Wilson pairing up with him at scrum-half and talented backs Carmichael, Liam Steele, Harry Boisseau, Colin Goudie and Charlie Simpson behind him if they can get into gear they are a match for any side in attack.

And up front in skipper Jack Turley and Jason Hill they have two of the best ball carrying back-rows in the top flight.

Heriot’s head coach Phil Smith said: “After a disappointing middle third last week we are hoping to eradicate that and put in a full performance on what promises to be a busy day at Goldenacre.”

Smith’s opposite number today, Bruce Aitchison, was disappointed that his side failed to take their chances when in the ascendency last time out against Currie.

Boroughmuir have still had a pretty decent start to their return to the top division though with two wins from four and they will have regrouped this week in training.

Meanwhile, leaders Gala are at home to Stirling County looking for a more comfortable afternoon than seven days ago when it took them until the last kick of the match to defeat Hawick.

The Maroons head coach George Graham said: “We have always had good contests against Stirling at Netherdale.

“There have been a lot of harsh words spoken to the players about their performance last week so I am expecting a big emphasis on sustaining pressure for longer periods during this game and no drop in intensity levels.”

Perhaps aware of the likely physical nature of the match County start with former pro Alex Black at scrum-half in place of Ali Price.

Second-placed Ayr are at home to bottom side Edinburgh Accies. The match sees Glasgow Warriors’ hooker Dougie Hall turning out for Ayr and his presence makes their pack even more formidable than it has been during the opening month of the campaign.

Fourth-placed Currie make the trip to Melrose with the reigning champions looking to continue their revival while Hawick make the trip to Old Anniesland to take on Glasgow Hawks.

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