National Two: Glasgow Accies expect boost from return of senior players

Anniesland men hope to bounce back from heavy defeat against league leaders Dumfries Saints last week when they take on Whitecraigs this weekend

Glasgow Accies take on Whitecraigs this weekend. Image: Bob Johnstone
Glasgow Accies take on Whitecraigs this weekend. Image: Bob Johnstone

GLASGOW ACCIES head coach Andy Jackson is hopeful that the return of a number of experienced players can see them kick-start their Tennent’s National League Division Two campaign this weekend.

Since drawing with Newton Stewart in week one, they have lost three games on the bounce to leave themselves second bottom in the table. On Saturday they host Whitecraigs, who will head into the match with a spring in their step after defeating Gordonians last week.

“After a tough game last week against Dumfries [a 63-0 loss] when we had a catalogue of injuries to key players and availability issues things are looking a bit better now,” said Jackson. “We have a number of established and experienced players returning for this Saturday.

Tommy Spinks, Kenny Beattie, captain Chris Johnstone and vice-captains Adam Lowry and Ross Cowan are among the senior players returning to the side.

“We will be up against a big, hard running pack who will look to take us on up front and we know that we will have to be at our best to be able to come away with a performance – and a result – we can be proud of,” added Jackson.

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Meanwhile, Hamilton Bulls will be the latest side to take on leaders Dumfries Saints, who have 19 points from a possible 20 so far in the campaign and a positive point differential of 146. Now Euan Mack’s side are on the road to Laigh Bent to play Kenny Brown’s fifth placed side knowing that this will almost certainly be their toughest challenge so far this season.

“We are really looking forward to the challenge we will face on Saturday,” said Brown. “It will be a significant test against a good Dumfries side, but we always enjoy playing at home.”

Peebles are the only other unbeaten side left and, like Dumfries, they are away from home in week five. Lewis Bertram’s men will be at Inverleith to take on Stewart’s Melville. The home side go into the Edinburgh meeting having beaten Newton Stewart away last week 12-0.

Third placed GHK are at home to Newton Stewart and will be keen to keep building the momentum that has been generated by three wins on the bounce following an opening day loss at Hamilton. Since then they have scored 120 points in three bonus point victories and are the second top points scorers behind Dumfries. But they face a tricky one this week against sixth place Newton Stewart.

Falkirk are winless to date and although their attack has fired in the last fortnight –  scoring 26 points and 29 points against Newton Stewart and Peebles respectively –  their defence has been porous and they will be keen to improve that when they host Preston Lodge. “We are very much looking forward to welcoming them,” said head coach Stevie Leckie. “Our team is learning every week in what is a really competitive league.”

Bottom of the table Gordonians have shown potential in recent weeks and go in search of their first win of the season away to Kirkcaldy.

This weekend’s National League Division Two fixtures (3pm kick-off) –

GHK v Newton Stewart

Falkirk v Preston Lodge

Hamilton Bulls v Dumfries Saints

Glasgow Accies v Whitecraigs

Kirkcaldy v Gordonians

Stewart’s Melville v Peebles

National Two table as it stands –

Stewart's Mel1815305202432772271
Dumfries Saints18135058227830410264
Newton Stewart191081333376-437251
Preston Lodge16961410339719246
Hamilton Bulls1881005494806910446
Glasgow Accies196121285524-2395132

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Gary Heatly
About Gary Heatly 174 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