National One preview: Melrose and Kelso gear up for Border derby clash

Struggling Boroughmuir face tough task against top of the table Biggar, while Watsonians entertain Ayr at Myreside

Melrose defeated Dundee High last weekend. Image: Douglas Hardie
Melrose defeated Dundee High last weekend. Image: Douglas Hardie

FOURTH placed Melrose head to Poynder Park for a National League Division One Border derby with Kelso on Saturday looking to make it four league wins on the spin. The Greenyards men hit a low point when they lost 44-10 at Watsonians in mid-December, but since then they have beaten Boroughmuir, Ayr and Dundee High.

Kelso are 10th and lost to Biggar last week, but they won their last derby clash with Gala two weeks ago and this should be a close fought affair.

“We are looking forward to visiting Kelso on Saturday on the back of recent wins,” said Melrose head coach Stuart Johnson. “This week we have focused on our attack shape once we get over the halfway line and especially into the 22 . We are looking for an 80 minute performance with the composure and patience to go through the phases and turn pressure into points.

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“Kelso will be hard to break down and showed against Gala they are tough to beat at home, so we are under no illusions that it will be a long afternoon if we don’t bring a performance.”

Meanwhile, Biggar travel to Meggetland 15 points clear at the top of he table and will start as firm favourites against 11th placed Boroughmuir, who were edged out by Cartha Queens Park last week and know they must start winning soon.

“With some forced changes in the squad due to injury it will be a challenge for the squad to adjust and for the players brought in to step up,” admitted Boroughmuir head coach Richard Sievwright. “Biggar are clear favourites going into this week and we know they will be looking to continue their good run of form, but we will give it our best shot.”

Watsonians and Ayr are eighth and ninth after away defeats last time out, and ahead of the Myreside meeting home head coach Bruce Ruthven said:  “The boys have trained well this week with renewed focus after a loss at Highland which was always going to be a tough game. Ayr are quite a stuffy team with a good set-piece and they will be coming to try and collect the points.

“The boys showed great attitude in the second half up at Highland though and we are undefeated at home while we have a few players returning so we are looking forward to this game.”

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

Boroughmuir v Biggar

Kelso v Melrose (3pm)

Watsonians v Ayr (3pm)

How it stands –

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Gary Heatly
About Gary Heatly 175 Articles
Gary has had a love for both rugby and writing for as far back as he can remember. Having cut his teeth in the ‘real world’ of journalism at the Midlothian Advertiser local newspaper for a couple of years between 2005 and 2007, he has since been kept busy covering sport, mainly rugby. He was a member of the editorial team at SCRUM Magazine for 11 years until recently and now provides regular rugby content to various national and local newspapers, magazines and websites via his company GH Media as well as hosting a podcast. Twitter: G_HMedia