RBS Shield/Bowl: Lower league teams one step away

Eight teams from the lower leagues will take to the field this afternoon knowing that they are just one step away from an appearance at Murrayfield.

The RBS Cup semi-finals may grab most of the attention today, but there are some really tasty ties in the respective Shield and Bowl last fours too.

The tie that immediately jumps out at those who keep a keen eye on things further down the leagues is the Shield encounter at Woodside between Aberdeenshire and Marr. Aberdeenshire have lost just two matches all season in picking up the Caledonia One title and the Caledonia Regional Shield, while they are unbeaten at home for over 24 months.

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Marr travel unbeaten in all competitions in 2012/13 and have already won the West One title and the West Regional Shield. As a result it should be a cracker between these two in-form teams, and Aberdeenshire team manager Colin Bell said: “We are really looking forward to this one. Both clubs have been in great form this season and with an ex-players’ lunch on there promises to be a big crowd down to watch.”

Aberdeenshire will look to take the upper hand in the forwards, as if Marr’s speedy backline get much ball they can be dangerous.

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In the other Shield match, East Regional competition winners Livingston take on Gala YM who came out on top in the Borders.

Gala YM will head to West Lothian as underdogs, sitting as they do eighth in East Two as opposed to their hosts who are top of East One.

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In the Bowl event there are two ties which could go either way. Broughton make the trip to Oban Lorne to face the hosts, who edged out Loch Lomond in the West Regional final 22-21. And the Stags meet the Eagles as Grangemouth welcome Kinloss to Glensburgh.