National One: Boroughmuir face tough task against Highland as fight for survival heats up

Meggetland men are 12 points from safety with a game in hand but head coach Richard Sievwright says the mood in the camp is positive

Highland defeated Boroughmuir when the sides last met in October. Image: Owen Cochrane
Highland defeated Boroughmuir when the sides last met in October. Image: Owen Cochrane

BOROUGHMUIR know they must start winning quickly if they are to avoid the drop from National League One, and that starts this Saturday, but they face a massive challenge against high-flying Highland.

There is no doubt that it will be an incredibly tough match for the Edinburgh side at Meggetland against the third placed outfit from Inverness, but being 12 points off safety (with a game in hand) they need to start winning today.

Although they lost out to leaders Biggar 26-0 last time out, Boroughmuir head coach Richard Sievwright was pleased with aspects of the performance. “The Six Nations break came at a bad time for us after a positive performance against Biggar and something to build on,” he stated.

“Having said that, there has been good focus and purpose in the training sessions we’ve had. This match will be a good test of our resilience and determination to stay in this league.”

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Highland defeated Boroughmuir 38-20 in October and their head coach Dave Carson said:  “After a two week break the boys are raring to go. It will be a tough trip down to Boroughmuir despite them sitting near the foot of the table.

“With the same squad available that ran Marr so close [in the Scottish Cup last month] we have challenged the players to repeat that kind of performance until the end of the season, starting this Saturday.”

Ayr are positioned one spot above Boroughmuir in the table and they are at home to Cartha Queens Park. “This is a really big game for us and after a bit of a lay off the boys are excited to get back at it,” said Ayr head coach Stuart Fenwick.

“We’ve trained well the past few weeks and we anticipate a big battle up front after a physical match at Cartha earlier in the season [Ayr winning that one 21-10 at Dumbreck]. We are now getting towards the business end of the season with the boys targeting another season next year in National One.”

Kelso are three points above Ayr in ninth spot and will want to put any lingering relegation doubts to bed soon. They travel to Edinburgh in this round of fixtures to take on second placed Heriot’s Blues at Goldenacre.

The Blues are 15 points behind leaders Biggar, but will want to try and keep up at least some pressure whilst they will also be out for revenge after Kelso beat them 31-28 in the Borders in October.

Bottom side Dundee High are all but down, sitting 19 points from safety with just five games remaining. They will fight to the last, though, and this weekend at Mayfield they take on a Stirling Wolves side who still have a top five finish in their sights.

Biggar look on course for the title, but know they will face a stern test of their credentials at The Greenyards. Melrose were humbled 55-12 at Hartreemill when the sides last met with this clash expected to be a lot closer.

“Finally, we get to play a game after a few weeks off and hopefully the weather holds up for us and the boys get the chance to play on the new [3G] surface at The Greenyards,” said Biggar player/coach Craig Borthwick.

“The next few games will give us a good idea of where we will be playing our rugby next year and that brings its own excitement, but we have a massive target on our backs so we will have to be up to the challenge and keep our standards high.”

Watsonians will look to keep their unbeaten home run going when they welcome fellow maroons Gala to Myreside. The Edinburgh outfit are fifth in the table while Gala are seventh, just three points behind with a game in hand. The sides drew at Netherdale earlier in the campaign so this one is too tight to call.

This weekend’s National League Division One fixtures (all 3pm unless stated) 

Boroughmuir v Highland (2pm)

Heriot’s Blues v Kelso

Ayr v Cartha Queens Park

Dundee High v Stirling Wolves

Melrose v Biggar

Watsonians v Gala

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About Gary Heatly 463 Articles
Gary has loved rugby ever since he can remember and since 2004 he has covered the sport and others in a professional capacity for many publications and websites and runs his own company, GH Media.