National One preview: Heriot’s aim to keep Biggar in their sights

A top of the table finish seems unlikely but Goldenacre men are determined to keep the pressure on

Heriot's Blues defeated Gala in the Scottish Cup last weekend. Image: Dave Urquhart

HERIOT’S BLUES return to National League One action on Saturday on a high after reaching the Scottish Cup last four last weekend. Craig Robertson led the way with two tries as they defeated Gala at Netherdale to progress to a semi-final Premiership pace-setters Marr. However, plans for the trip to Troon on March 28th are on hold just now with league points the priority.

The Goldenacre men are in second place, 20 points behind leaders Biggar, and while their hopes of finishing top and claiming the only promotion slot this season may be slim, they have two games in hand and are keen to take maximum points from them to keep up the pressure on the Hartreemill men.

First up is a home match this weekend against bottom side Dundee High who are looking more and more likely to drop out of the division. Heriot’s won 47-24 at Mayfield back in September, but Blues head coach Jamie Parker is taking nothing for granted.

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“We are looking forward to being back at home after two weeks on the road,” he said. “The squad has been tested the last few weeks with injuries, but credit to the boys that keep coming in and performing.

“Dundee pushed Melrose hard in their last fixture and have shown clear improvements both up front and in the backs from when we last played them. We will have to play for the full 80 minutes as we have experienced first hand their ability to score tries if we switch off. I expect another physical game before the boys get a well deserved break next week.”

Fifth placed Watsonians are looking to keep their unbeaten home record going when they host Cartha Queens Park at Myreside. The visitors travel east in seventh place, just three points behind Watsonians with a game in hand, and they beat the Edinburgh team 24-12 in October at Dumbreck.

“We’re looking forward to getting back to league action after a weekend off,” said Cartha head coach Thomas Davidson ahead of what looks certain to be a closely fought affair. “The boys have trained well for the past two weeks and we head to Watsonians on Saturday expecting a very tough game.

“Watsonians are obviously unbeaten at home this season and it’s going to take our best 80 minute performance to change that. For the neutral, I think it’ll be an exciting fixture to watch.”

Gala are sandwiched between Watsonians and Cartha in sixth place and they host Stirling Wolves at Netherdale. The home side will want to bounce back from last week’s Cup exit while they were beaten 35-25 by the Wolves earlier in the campaign so will be out for revenge.

Eighth placed Wolves are looking to build on a good win over Ayr a fortnight ago. “Gala are in good form just now and we are aware this will be a difficult game especially down at Netherdale,” said their head coach Chris Faill.

“We have done our preparation work and know if we can play to our plan we will be able to challenge them with our attack, but this weekend will also be a big test for us defensively.

“There are a few boys who are stepping up from the under-18s this week which is a great achievement and I’m looking forward to see how they go.”

This Saturday’s National League Division One fixtures (all 2pm unless stated) –

Watsonians v Cartha Queens Park

Heriot’s Blues v Dundee High

Gala v Stirling Wolves (2.30pm)

How it stands –

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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.