UPDATE: Cartha v Heriot’s Blues has now been postponed due to waterlogged pitch.
CARTHA QUEENS PARK still have eyes on a top half finish in National One and are looking for revenge over Heriot’s Blues this Saturday after a thumping defeat in the capital back in September.
Last weekend’s last gasp loss at Ayr left Cartha in eighth place in the table on 43 points, but they are just four points off fifth and three points off sixth with five games remaining this term.
Heriot’s on the other hand travel to Glasgow for the rearranged fixture knowing that only a five point bonus point win will do to keep up the feint hope of catching leaders Biggar, who are edging ever closer to the title.
Heriot’s eased to victory 80-27 against Cartha in the sunshine at Goldenacre five months ago, but this game will be played in different conditions at Dumbreck and Blues head coach Jamie Parker knows it will be a battle.
“We are expecting – and looking forward to – a tough game in challenging conditions yet again,” he said. “Last time we played Cartha we were accurate in attack and were rewarded on the scoreboard. However, there is no doubt they will pose a different threat at home with their big pack and experienced back line.”
Opposite number Thomas Davidson stated: “Last weekend there was mixed feelings for us as a club, with the 2d XV getting a great result while the 1st XV just missed out. The whole club have moved in to this week with a real focus and togetherness and we’re excited about Heriot’s coming to Dumbreck.
“We know what to expect from Heriot’s having conceded 80 points through there and that’s something we’re eager to put right. It’ll no doubt be a physical and fast encounter, but one we’re relishing.”
In the other 3pm kick-off, third placed Highland make the long trip south to take on sixth placed Gala.
The Maroons go into the home game at Netherdale off the back of a one point win at Watsonians last time out while Highland have not played a league game since January 18th.
Highland won 34-18 in the reverse fixture in September and their head coach Dave Carson said: “We were frustrated not to get a run out last week [at Boroughmuir], but it’s that time of year. We just had to reset the clock on Tuesday at training and started focusing on what will be a really tough test in Gala. There is a full squad available apart from Rupeni Rokoduguni, who was injured playing for the Army last week.
“I want the boys to get the levels up and put in a fast and aggressive performance and hopefully come away from the Borders with a win.”
In the lunchtime kick-off, second bottom Boroughmuir take on fifth placed Stirling Wolves at Meggetland.
Boroughmuir know they need to start winning soon to give themselves any hope of staying up while the Bridgehaugh men want to finish as high up the table as possible.
“We are looking to build on last week’s win against Dundee High which in parts we were pleased with, but our consistency over the 80 minutes needs to be better and that will be our focus against Boroughmuir,” said Wolves head coach Chris Faill.
“They are in a similar position to Dundee and will fight for everything which we need to be ready for. We will focus on our performance and what we need to do individually and collectively, we’ve got real competition within the squad at the minute which I believe is always a positive thing.
“That is down to the young guys stepping up to the squad from the under-18s which is really pleasing.”
This Saturday’s National League Division One fixtures (3pm unless stated) –
Boroughmuir v Stirling Wolves (12.30pm)
Cartha Queens Park v Heriot’s Blues
Gala v Highland
How it stands –