Scottish Cup draw confirms withdrawal of six Border League clubs

 Jed-Forest, Kelso, Selkirk, Gala, Melrose and Peebles opt out but Hawick will defend their crown

Edinburgh Accies will host Glasgow Hawks in round one of the Scottish Cup on 9th March. Image: © Craig Watson -
Edinburgh Accies will host Glasgow Hawks in round one of the Scottish Cup on 9th March. Image: © Craig Watson -

THE draw for this season’s Men’s Scottish Cup, Men’s National League Cup, Men’s National Shield and Men’s Bowl competitions has been made, with the first round of matches to be played on 9th March.

The finals of the Scottish Cup, the National Shield and the Bowl will be part of Silver Saturday at Murrayfield on 27th April, while details for the final of the revived National League Cup will be confirmed at a later date.

This year, the top tier Scottish Cup will involve 14 teams from top two leagues (Premiership and National Division 1), with Jed-Forest, Kelso, Selkirk, Gala, and Melrose having withdrawn from the competition so as to focus instead on their Border League fixtures. Glasgow-based GHK – who forfeited their Cup quarter-final clash against eventual Cup champions Hawick last year – have also opted out.

The draw –

Round 1: 9th March 2024

  • Glasgow Academicals v Hawick
  • Currie Chieftains v Ayr
  • Edinburgh Academical v Glasgow Hawks
  • Musselburgh v GHA
  • Watsonian FC v Highland
  • Biggar v Mar
  • Byes: Dundee Rugby & Heriot’s Blues

Round 2: 16th March 2024

  • Edinburgh Academical or Glasgow Hawks v Heriot’s Blues
  • Dundee Rugby v Glasgow Academicals or Hawick
  • Biggar or Marr v Watsonian FC v Highland
  • Musselburgh or GHA v Currie Chieftains or Ayr

The semi-finals will be played on Saturday 13th April.

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Meanwhile, in the Men’s National League Cup returns after a year in cold storage while the clubs in the old National Two and Three focussed on their longer league fixture schedule which was a consequence of 12 team divisions.

Now, with National Two, Three and Four reduced to 10 teams per division, with 26 clubs taking part while Peebles, Greenock Wanderers, Perthshire and Ross High have all voluntarily opted out of the competition.

The draw –

Round 1: 9th March 2024

  • Howe of Fife v Hillhead Jordanhill
  • Gordonians v Strathmore
  • Dumfries Saints v Berwick
  • Garnock v Kirkcaldy
  • Stewartry v Falkirk
  • Stirling County v Hamilton Bulls
  • Whitecraigs v Preston Lodge
  • West of Scotland v Allan Glens
  • Orkney v Aberdeen Grammar Rugby
  • Cartha QP v Murrayfield Wanderers
  • Byes: Boroughmuir, Dunfermline, Lasswade, Newton Stewart, North Berwick, Stewart’s Melville

Round 2: 16th March 2024

  • Cartha Queens Park or Murrayfield Wanderers v Whitecraigs or Preston Lodge
  • Boroughmuir v Dumfries Saints or Berwick
  • Newton Stewart v Stewarts Melville
  • Stewartry or Falkirk v Gordonians or Strathmore
  • Dunfermline v Stirling County or Hamilton Bulls
  • West of Scotland or Allan Glens v North Berwick
  • Garnock or Kirkcaldy v Howe of Fife or Hillhead Jordanhill
  • Lasswade v Orkney or Aberdeen Grammar Rugby

Quarter-finals will be played out on Saturday 6th April followed by semi-finals on Saturday 20th April.


The draw –

In the Men’s National Shield, 47 teams playing across Regional Division 1 Leagues have opted in, with Clydebank being the only club to voluntarily opt out.

In a slight change to last season, this year the first three rounds are restricted within the regions, with the draw opening out Nationally from the quarter-finals.

Round 1: 27th January 2024

  • RAF Lossiemouth v Kinross
  • Aberdeen Wanderers v Moray
  • Grangemouth Stags v Mackie FP
  • Hillfoots v Panmure
  • Corstorphine v Penicuik
  • Broughton v Royal High
  • Leith v Dalkeith
  • Hawick Linden v Duns
  • Oban Lorne v Carrick
  • Kilmarnock v East Kilbride
  • Strathendrick v Lomond & Helensburgh
  • Paisley v Dalziel
  • Ardrossan Academicals v Bishopton
  • Wigtownshire v Strathaven
  • Waysiders Drumpellier v Cumnock
  • Byes: Aberdeenshire, Caithness, Carnoustie HSFP, Ellon, Dunbar, Forrester, Haddington, Hawick Harlequins, Langholm, Linlithgow, Livingston, Portobello, Annan, Cambuslang, Cumbernauld, Lenzie & Uddingston

Round 2: 17th February 2024

  • Caithness v Ellon
  • RAF Lossiemouth or Kinross v Grangemouth Stags or Mackie FP
  • Aberdeen Wanderers or Moray v Aberdeenshire
  • Carnoustie HSFP v Hillfoots or Panmure
  • Livingston v Corstorphine or Penicuik
  • Hawick Linden or Duns v Langholm
  • Linlithgow v Forrester
  • Leith or Dalkeith v Broughton or Royal High
  • Portobello FP v Dunbar
  • Hawick Harlequins v Haddington
  • Waysiders Drumpellier or Cumnock v Annan
  • Uddingston v Strathendrick or Lomond & Helensburgh
  • Kilmarnock or East Kilbride v Lenzie
  • Ardrossan Academicals or Bishopton v Cumbernauld
  • Wigtownshire or Strathaven v Oban Lorne or Carrick
  • Paisley or Dalziel v Cambuslang

Round 3 will take place on Saturday 2nd March, quarter-finals on Saturday 23rd March, semi-finals on Saturday 13th April.


And the Men’s National & Regional Bowl will consist of four regional competitions – East, West, Caledonia North and Caledonia Midlands – made up of teams from Regional Division Leagues 2 and 3.

The winners of each Regional Bowl competition will then progress to the National semi-final on Saturday 13 April, with the winners reaching the National Bowl final at Silver Saturday.

The draw –

East Regional Bowl

Round 1: 27th January 2024

  • Edinburgh Northern v Inverleith
  • Edinburgh University Medics v Earlston
  • Trinity Accies v Lismore
  • Bye: Gala YM

Semi-finals: 17th February 2024

  • Gala YM v Edinburgh Northern or Inverleith
  • Edinburgh University Medics or Earlston v Trinity Accies v Lismore

Final will be scheduled for Saturday 2nd March.

West Regional Bowl

Round 1: 27th January 2024

  • Moffat v Irvine
  • Lochaber v Shawlands
  • Bye: Birkmyre, Glasgow University Medics, Isle of Mull, Hyndland, Lanark & Clydesdale

Quarter-finals: 17th February 2024

  • Birkmyre v Mid Argyll
  • Lochaber or Shawlands v Isle of Mull
  • Glasgow University Medics v Hyndland
  • Moffat or Irvine v Lanark & Clydesdale

Semi-finals have been scheduled for Saturday 2nd March, and the Final on 9th March.

Caledonia Midlands Regional Bowl

Round 1: 17th February 2024

  • Waid Academy FP v Bannockburn
  • Madras v Blairgowrie
  • Byes: Aberfeldy, Alloa, Crieff & Strathearn, Dundee Uni Medics, Glenrothes & Rosyth Sharks

Following the round 1, teams will progress to a quarter-final scheduled for Saturday 2nd March.

Caledonia North Regional Bowl

Round 1: 17th February 2024

  • Deeside v North Police Scotland
  • Banff v Ross Sutherland
  • Aberdeen Uni Medics v Kinloss Eagles
  • Fraserburgh v Skye
  • Byes: Garioch, Inverness Craig Dunain, Shetland & Turriff

Following the open round, teams will progress to a quarter-final scheduled for Saturday 2nd March.

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About David Barnes 3816 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Agreed Iain, real shame to see teams pulling out especially GHK. Surely there should be some forfeit for them pulling out two years on the bounce for no reason.

  2. Disappointing to see the withdrawal of top teams from the Scottish Cup. I know as a former player I’d have loved to have played in such a competition with a chance of playing at Murrayfield, the home of Scottish rugby in the final. Good luck to the teams involved.

    • It is a great shame but hardly surprising. A properly run SRU looking after its clubs rather than their own executives would no doubt have seen a fully supported competition but you can hardly blame the clubs for putting their own financial interests first. Some one has to.


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