Rbs Premier 1 Preview: Round Nine

Pressure continues to mount as RBS Premier 1 is now only three weeks away from the split and every team is desperate to finish off with three more wins to assure their position in the top eight.

This weekend’s fixtures see Aberdeen Grammar host Heriot’s at Rubislaw, Edinburgh Accies welcome Gala to Raeburn Place, Glasgow Hawks travel to Meggetland to play Boroughmuir, Stirling County welcome league leaders, Melrose, to Bridgehaugh, Ayr travel to Mayfield to challenge Dundee HSFP, and Hawick host Currie at Mansfield Park.

Pressure continues to mount as RBS Premier 1 is now only three weeks away from the split and every team is desperate to finish off with three more wins to assure their position in the top eight.

This weekend’s fixtures see Aberdeen Grammar host Heriot’s at Rubislaw, Edinburgh Accies welcome Gala to Raeburn Place, Glasgow Hawks travel to Meggetland to play Boroughmuir, Stirling County welcome league leaders, Melrose, to Bridgehaugh, Ayr travel to Mayfield to challenge Dundee HSFP, and Hawick host Currie at Mansfield Park. 

Aberdeen Grammar v Heriot’s, Rubislaw, 3pm

Grammar have won their last two games in RBS Premier 1 and will look to continue that run with a win over Heriot’s at Rubislaw on Saturday. However Heriot’s will be desperate for a win to move from tenth place back into the top eight.

Aberdeen Grammar head coach, Alex Duncan, said: “With back to back wins the squad are focused on securing top eight status with a match winning performance against a tough Heriot’s outfit who are out to do the same.

“We expect nothing more than a very tight, physical encounter against an experienced Heriot’s team who will be well prepared by coaches Appleson and Marshall.”

Aberdeen Grammar team: Steven Aitken  (vice-captain); Callum Anderson, Will Wardlaw, Warwick Percival, Erland Oag; Fraser Lyle, Rob Lawson; Matt Dixon, Sean O’Connor, Callum McConnachie, Ed Nimmons, Murray Douglas (captain), Sandy Warnock, Rab Barrie, Greig Ryan.
Replacements: Nicki Fraser, Richard Allen, Tony McGuiness, Apelu Alapati or Rob Aloe, Morgan Ward.

Heriot's team: Colin Goudie; Andy Scott, Cameron Ferguson, Jordy Kohn, Max Learmouth; Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Graham Wilson, Alan Dymock, Kevin Bryce, Gavin Cameron, Ross Martin, Matt Reid, Robin Cessford, Fraser Brown, Jason Hill.
Replacements: Kyle Traynor, Stuart Mustard, CJ Osazuwa, Max Nimmo, Gregor Lawson. 

Edinburgh Accies v Gala, Raeburn Place, 3pm 

It will be at tough job for Accies this weekend at home as an extremely confident Gala side travel to Raeburn Place. Accies currently sit in ninth, a place below the split threshold, while a win for Gala could mean stealing pole position from Melrose. George Graham only makes one change to his starting XV; David Marshall replaces Gary Graham.

Edinburgh Accies head coach, Simon Cross, said: “By and large the same team that took the field last week against Aberdeen will play again this week.

“We welcome Lewis Niven to the fold, but are disappointed with the loss of Alex Black to injury.

“We played well last week and had our chances to win, we are looking to climb up the League this weekend, but we know that Gala will provide a stern test.”

Edinburgh Accies team: Jamie Sole; Matt Coupar, Ross Browne, Iain Berthinussen, Jake Knight; Stuart Evans, Mike Campbell; Duncan Morrison, Michael Liness, Lewis Niven, Greg Campbell, Dan Teague (captain), Callum Reid, Jamie Taggart, Tom Drennan.
Replacements: Scott Jeffers, Kenny Blyth, Nathan Pike, Andy Lamb, Ruaridh Bonner.

Gala team: Bryce Turner; Shaun Law, Chris Auld, Alan Emond, Craig Robertson; Lee Millar, George Graham; Lewis Bertram, Russell Anderson, Ewan McQuillin, Chris Weir, Opeta Palepoi, David Marshall, Gary Lowrie, Euan Dods.
Replacements: Jack Gilding, Craig Keddie, Gary Graham, Andy McLean, Craig Borthwick. 

Boroughmuir v Glasgow Hawks, Meggetland, 3pm  

Hawks will have taken heart from their win over Heriot’s last weekend, but on the road at Meggetland will be no easy task. For Boroughmuir Alex Henderson moves up to the bench after some good performances for the 2’s.
 
Boroughmuir head coach, Fergus Pringle, said: “We have to up our game against a side who are fighting to get back in the top eight. Peter Wright will have his side well fired up.”

Boroughmuir team: Ally Warnock; Sep Visser, Stevie Wilson, Mark Hare, Jordan Webster; Harry Leonard, Sam Johnson; Robin Hislop, Sean Crombie, Jonny Latta, Greg Scott, Ali Davidson, Matt Harvey, Andrew Rose, Iain Moody.
Replacements: Nick Fraser, Bryce Blair, Jamie Swanson, Alex Henderson, Ross Bradford. 

Stirling County v Melrose, Bridgehaugh, 3pm 

Melrose sit at the top of the league while Stirling County sit in eigth place. Therefore, Melrose will want a win to assure Gala don’t bunny hop them for the top spot, while a win for County will relieve any pressure of missing the split for another week. Stuart Johnston and Ruairi McLeod who have been performing well for Melrose Storm move onto the bench.

Stirling County head coach, Eddie Pollock, said: “After a disappointing performance at Gala last week. Melrose will be a big test for us.”

Melrose head coach, Craig Chalmers, said: “It’s another massive game for us and we know it’s going to be a tough one.

“Bridgehaugh is never an easy place to get a result, so our performance will have to be raised several levels if we are to get the win.

“Stirling are scrapping for a top eight place and will be desperate, so hopefully we will be as desperate to keep our top spot.”

Stirling County team: Ben Addison; Graeme Lindsay, Danny Gilmour, Brian Archibald, Ross Aitken; Stuart Edwards, Sean Kennedy; Mike McDonald, Alex Moffat (captain), Gary Mountford, Craig Deacons, Robert McAlpine, Tim Clarke, Robbie Boswell, Stevie Boswell.
Replacements: Reynor Kennedy, Colin Hutton, Jamie Mountford, Struan Robertson, David Maw.

Melrose team: Fraser Thomson; Alan Dodds, Jamie Murray, Joe Helps, Simon Webster; Andrew Skeen, Bruce Colvine; Chris Keen, Richard Ferguson, Nick Beavon, Ross Ovenns, Peter Eccles, Gary Elder, Ross Miller, Grant Runciman.
Replacements: Alun Walker, Ruari McLeod, Stuart Johnston, Scott McCormick, Cammie Murray.

Dundee HSFP v Ayr, Mayfield, 3pm 

Ayr and Dundee sit one place apart and one point apart in RBS Premier 1, in third and fourth respectively. Ian Rankin’s men have the home advantage, but Ayr go to Mayfield with four consecutive wins behind them. For Dundee Jamie Morrison and Richie McIver switch positions, with McIver dropping to the bench, while Richard Dalgiesh makes his debut for Ayr.

Dundee HSFP head coach, Ian Rankin, said: “Ayr have had a slow start to the season but are now on a roll and are sitting one point ahead of us in the league.

“This gives the game a real edge as we enter the business end of RBS Premier 1 prior to the split.”

Ayr head coach, Kenny Murray, said: “We were happy with our performance against Boroughmuir last week as we made another small step up in performance.

“We have gradually improved over the past four weeks and will need to see further improvements this week if we are to beat our close rivals Dundee.

“Mayfield is a very difficult place to win and Dundee will be looking to maintain their strong home record.”

Dundee HSFP team: Cam Wyper; Andrew McLean, Robbie Lavery, Harry Duthie, James Fleming; Cam Brown, Andy Dymock; Neil Dymock (captain), Simon Forrest, Alan Brown, Richard Hawkins, Andy Linton, Chris Cumming, Richie McIver, Danny Levison.
Replacements: Darell Russell, Gavin Robertson, Jamie Morrison, Tom Seabala, Ross Lemon.

Ayr team: Grant Anderson; Steven Manning, Richard Dalgleish, Mark Stewart, Sylvian Diez; Robbie Ferguson, AJ MacFarlane; Andy Kelly, Hayden Wisnewski, Gordon Sykes, Josh Dunning, Colin White, John Willis, Andy Dunlop, Graham Fisken.
Replacements: Stuart Fenwick, Scott Sutherland, Blair McPherson, Craig Davidson, Cammy Taylor.

Hawick v Currie, Mansfield Park, 3pm 

After losing their opening three games Currie have bounced back to record five wins on the trot. However, though Hawick are yet to record a victory this season they ran Melrose very closely last weekend, so this encounter could prove to be a very interesting one. Currie make one change in their starting XV with Adam Best taking up the reigns in the second row.

Currie head coach, Ally Donaldson, said: “Hawick ran Melrose very close last weekend and will have taken great heart from that.

“They can still stay in the top eight and will do everything in their powers to ensure they do. Any win at Mansfield Park is hard earned and we know the challenge in front of us if we want to continue moving up the league.”

Hawick team: Gary Johnstone; Craig Russell, John Houston, Lee Armstrong, Steven Anderson; Neil Renwick, Greg Cottrell; Rory Sutherland, Matthew Landels, Sean Linton, Barry Keown, Keith Davies, Nick MacTaggart, Danny Landels, Bruce McNeil (captain).
Replacements: Hue Scammell, Nicky Little, Graham Hogg.

Currie team: Jamie Forbes; Barry Mansfield, Douglas Fife, Andy MacMahon, David Smith; Andrew Binikos, Richard Sneddon; John Cox, Fergus Scott, Colin Phillips, Adam Best, Simon Marcell, Mark Cairns, Mike Entwhistle, Ross Weston.
Replacements: Neil Scobie, Ross Merrilees, Gary Temple, Malcolm Peacock, Tom Brown.