Finalists at full strength for Murrayfield showdown

MELROSE and Ayr will be at full strength for tomorrow's Scottish Hydro Cup Final and league double-header with the Millbrae men bidding to win the trophy on their first visit to Murrayfield.

Both clubs yesterday announced their starting line-ups and rumours that Ayr stand-off Frazier Climo was struggling with injury have proven unfounded as the star man takes his place in the pivotal position. Another key figure for Ayr is skipper Damien Kelly, and while victory tomorrow would also help the club's hopes of retaining their league title, he insisted that the cup was the clear focus.

He said: "Most importantly it's our first time in a final so we're concentrating on it much more as a cup final than a league game, which is just an added bonus if we get the points.

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"The final means a lot to our supporters who have been selling a lot of tickets and a lot of the shops are carrying pink and black banners. There are a lot of people heading for the final so it's very exciting."

By contrast, Melrose captain Scott Wight has savoured the good and the bad of Murrayfield occasions, helping the Borderers to victory over Heriot's two years ago and then suffering the agony of missing a long-range penalty that would have won it again last year, Heriot's instead hanging on for a 21-19 win and sweet revenge.

Wight acknowledged, however, that for all that their opponents were new to this arena, Ayr were formidable opposition.

He said: "Our game against Ayr in the league was probably the one game we've been well beaten in this year. They play the right rugby in the right areas of the field but we know what they've got to offer so we have to address those problems throughout the week and get that right – individually it's up to us to get ourselves right for the cup final. It's a big occasion and a big day out for the club. We've been here twice before and hopefully we'll be on the right end of the result on Saturday."

The change to the Scottish Cup format has reduced the finals day from four to three games, and the cup final kicks off at 4pm. Tickets for all three finals are priced 10 for adults and 5 for concessions, and the day will kick-off at noon with the bowl final between North Berwick and Strathmore, which brings together the new Scottish Hydro East 1 champions North and a promotion-chasing Caledonia 1 side.

The second game is the Scottish Hydro Shield final (2pm), and features another two of Scotland's most progressive clubs in Lasswade and Greenock Wanderers. Both play in National 2, equivalent to the fifth division in Scotland, but both also beat higher-ranked clubs en route to Murrayfield.

The league games between them this season have gone with the home team, but by narrow margins, and both are confident they can claim this crucial decider. Wanderers have been at Murrayfield before, when they went down to Ardrossan Academicals in the 2005 bowl final, but this will be Lasswade's first appearance in finals day.

The spread of teams should ensure a healthy interest from across Scotland with Glasgow having Ayr and Greenock involved, Lasswade and North Berwick spearheading the Edinburgh cause, Strathmore flying the Caledonia flag and Melrose representing the Borders.