National Two preview: top two set for an Anniesland shoot-out

League leaders GHK host second-placed Stewart's Melville, while Kirkcaldy and Dumfries saints aim to keep pressure on

Stewart's Melville visit GHK this weekend for a top of the table clash. Image: Jax MacKenzie Photography
Stewart's Melville visit GHK this weekend for a top of the table clash. Image: Jax MacKenzie Photography

THE top two meet in National League Two on Saturday when GHK host Stewart’s Melville. Earlier in the campaign, GHK went to Inverleith and returned west with a handsome 44-19 win. Peter Wright’s men led 29-7 at half-time in that one, but expect this one to be a lot closer at Old Anniesland because Stew Mel have improved since then and are coming off the back of a good win away to fellow promotion-chasers Kirkcaldy last week. Stew Mel, meanwhile, will be keen to remember their win over GHK by 33-19 in January.

“We are really looking forward to this tough challenge,” said GHK skipper Cammy Hughes. “As a group, we know how dangerous Stew Mel can be and they have had some good wins of late.

“We are keen to keep building on our defence and attack structures and believe that we can put in a good performance on Saturday.”

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Third placed Kirkcaldy are now five points behind GHK and will be looking to do the season double over Whitecraigs when they travel to Newton Mearns. Earlier in the season the Fifers won 48-13 and will again start as favourites with Whitecraigs sitting bottom of the table with just nine points.

“We have been training hard as a group, trying to develop our style of play and looking at ways to break down our opponents and take our chances more often when they come along,” said Whitecraigs head coach Ian Hamilton.

“The scorelines have not reflected the improvements we have been making as yet while the weather has made it quite hard to get any momentum.”

Dumfries Saints, the long time leaders of the league, have slipped to fourth with their last two matches having been postponed and the two goes before that being lost. They will look to get back to winning ways against a Gordonians side who are 11th in the table and who they beat up in Aberdeen back in September.

“We have been disappointed to have two games off due to the weather, but it has allowed some guys to shake off injuries and others to freshen up a bit,” said head coach Euan Mack. “Gordonians gave us a good battle up there when we last played, we are expecting a physical match and we are looking forward to it.”

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Peebles are fifth in the table and they are at home to Hamilton Bulls. In the first match this term between the sides, the Borderers led comfortably before imploding and the Bulls then went 29-28 up. That was before a late Donald Anderson penalty snatched the win for Peebles at Laigh Bent, and this meeting at The Gytes should also be entertaining.

Newton Stewart are in seventh place, six points behind Peebles after an impressive away win at the Bulls last time out. This weekend they are hosting 10th placed Falkirk with the latter just four points above the bottom two.

Glasgow Accies are just three points ahead of Falkirk and they are on the road to East Lothian to play sixth placed Preston Lodge.

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

Newton Stewart v Falkirk

Preston Lodge v Glasgow Accies

Dumfries Saints v Gordonians

Whitecraigs v Kirkcaldy

GHK v Stewart’s Melville (3pm)

Peebles v Hamilton Bulls (3pm)

How it stands –

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Hamilton Bulls youngster Euan Ferrie grabs his chance

About Gary Heatly 457 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.