Boroughmuir captain Andy Rose and his team-mates are itching to get back into competitive action this afternoon when they make the short trip to Watsonians as the battle for the RBS National League title and second place intensifies.
After seeing their respective matches against Selkirk and Kelso called off seven days ago because of torrential rain, neither Boroughmuir or Watsonians have played a meaningful encounter since 21 December.
It means Boroughmuir enter the match still holding an eight-point lead at the top of the table, with Watsonians second and currently in the play-off spot and Stewart’s Melville a further two points behind with all three having four matches left. As a result, between now and 22 March when the regular season ends, there will be some cracking matches in this division and today’s top two clash looks set to be one.
When the two teams met at Meggetland at the start of October, the sides were tied at 25-25 before Stevie Wilson scored a late try to win it for Boroughmuir. Zimbabwean back-row Rose said: “That was a really good one to be involved in. By the end of it, both teams were pretty tired, but it was great that we managed to win it and I think it showed the team spirit we have. We know that Watsonians are a very good side, though, and we expect another tough test. There is quite a rivalry between the two clubs and everyone seems to up their game for this one.”
With Magnus Bradbury and Ben Cooper away on Scotland under-20 duty, Joni Hare starts in the back-row and Dave Reekie is at stand-off for ‘Muir.
The home side have Clarke Smith returning in the second-row in place of another young player Matt Poole, who has been suffering from illness, with James Forrester replacing the unavailable Danny Moussa in the pack. Scotland under-20 hopeful Joe Jones is back from a stint in South Africa and is in the back-row, while top try scorer Ally Ledingham starts at full-back.
Stewart’s Melville captain Nick McCashin returns to the side for their trip to Mayfield to take on Dundee HSFP. Back-row Donald Sangster looks set to miss out though. Dundee HSFP defeated GHA last week and, although they only have three matches left, could still give themselves a slim chance of finishing in the top two if they win this one.
Elsewhere, fifth-placed Selkirk travel to Hartreemill to face Biggar, Hillhead/Jordanhill host Peebles at Hughenden and GHA make the trip to Poynder Park to take on Kelso.
In RBS Championship B, leaders Jed-Forest have taken the precaution of booking the 3G pitch in Gala to make sure today’s match with Aberdeenshire goes ahead. The Borderers went back to the top of the division last week and, should their own Riverside Park not make it due to bad weather, they have a fall-back option.
Out of the top three sides, Howe of Fife have the most matches left to play – four – and could go ahead of the inactive Musselburgh into second with a convincing bonus point win at Hawick YM. Elsewhere, Kirkcaldy host Livingston and Murrayfield Wanderers welcome Lasswade to the capital.
In RBS Championship A, after a comeback victory against Dalziel seven days ago, Greenock Wanderers will now be aiming to derail Marr’s title challenge at Fort Matilda. Bottom plays top in Motherwell with Cartha Queens Park making the trip to Dalziel, while second placed Falkirk are on the road to Whitecraigs.
Hamilton, the fourth-placed side, host West of Scotland at Laigh Bent, while Ardrossan Accies are on their travels to take on Dumfries.