National Two preview: Stewart’s Melville looking to build momentum

Dumfries Saints are the only team with a 100 percent winning record after six rounds of matches

Stewart's Melville had a great win over Peebles last week
Stewart's Melville had a great win over Peebles last week. Image: Jax MacKenzie Photography

STEWART’S MELVILLE claimed Peebles’ unbeaten record in National League Division Two last weekend, and having also come out on top against Newton Stewart the week before, the Inverleith side are looking to keep building momentum. 

They are now fourth in the table, seven points behind leaders Dumfries Saints, and this weekend they head to the Pennypit in East Lothian to take on Preston Lodge.

“We need to back up last Saturday’s performance this time around,” said head coach Jonny Else. “We are under no illusions about what a tough place the Pennypit is to go and get a result, but if we start as we finished against Peebles we will be in good shape.

“Our last 15 minutes was good last weekend and we have freshened the team up so although we know PL will be up for it, we are confident that we can put in a performance to be proud of.”

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Dumfries Saints, with five wins from five and 24 points, are back at home after they toughed out an away win at Hamilton Bulls in week five. They welcome Falkirk to Park Farm, who are on a high after picking up their first win of the campaign against PL last Saturday

Bobby Douglas scored two tries last week for Dumfries to make it seven for the season and they have players to watch sprinkled throughout their side.

Peter Wright’s GHK are three points behind Dumfries in second and although their one point win over Newton Stewart last week was not always pretty, it showed that the Glasgow side can mix it when required as well as the playing free-flowing rugby championed by the coach.

And they will most have to mix it against Lewis Bertram’s Peebles side at The Gytes, with most onlookers expecting a reaction after their first loss of this term.

Kirkcaldy make the trip to Newton Stewart and director of rugby Corgi George said:  “We won’t be taking the one sided Cup result [they defeated the same opponents 80-19 in the National League Cup in late August] into account as Newton Stewart were under strength for that one and have improved a lot since then.

“As a new team, we are starting to click now and the young lads are really stepping up to the plate and performing well which is making the coaching staff’s job hard in a good way. Everyone is looking forward to this match.”

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Newton Stewart have lost their last two, but they have both been very tight. They are on the same number of points as Kirkcaldy and at home they are always confident.

Hamilton are in eighth and are on the road to 11th placed Whitecraigs. The Bulls have scored 148 points, but need to start conceding less defensively to push themselves up the table. Whitecraigs won their last home game against Gordonians and head coach Ian Hamilton will want a repeat of that showing.

As for Gordonians, they are still on zero points and will want a confidence-boosting win soon. Ryan Morrice’s men are eight points adrift at the bottom of the table and take on Glasgow Accies in week six, the latter looking to kick-on from a solid win over Whitecraigs last time out.

This weekend’s National League Division Two fixtures (all 3pm) –

Preston Lodge v Stewart’s Melville

Gordonians v Glasgow Accies

Peebles v GHK

Dumfries Saints v Falkirk

Whitecraigs v Hamilton Bulls

Newton Stewart v Kirkcaldy

Current league standings –

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About Gary Heatly 439 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.