Come Saturday night (19 April) there will be new silverware in either Caithness or Preston Lodge’s trophy cabinets.
The Shield final will be played between the RBS Caledonia Regional League Division 1 team and the RBS East Regional League Division 1 champions (kick-off 1.15pm at Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld). Whoever wins, it will be the first time they have captured the RBS National Shield trophy.
Millbank side, Caithness come into the final having finished fourth in their league and having come through the RBS Caledonia Regional Shield competition with a strong showing.
En route to the final they beat Mackie Academy (30-23), Gordonians (39-25), were given a BYE through the regional semi-final as St Andrew’s University withdrew and Dunfermline in the regional final, 28-6. In the national semi-final they accounted for Berwick, 22-17, to reach Saturday’s final.
Head coach, Colin Sangster, said: “The whole of Caithness is buzzing for Saturday’s match!
We have never been in a final before. We had 700 supporters at our home semi-final. The whole county is behind us and has been sending in messages of support. We can’t wait now.
“The team has developed a great spirit this year and I believe it will take a really good side to beat us. However, we’re under no illusions at how big the challenge against Preston Lodge will be.
“We need to reproduce our season’s form to give ourselves the best chance of winning. But, I know these players never give up and they never know when they’re beaten.”
Preston Lodge have been impressive this year and will arrive on Saturday with a 100% performance record in their league and in the RBS East Regional and National Shield so far.
Preston Lodge beat Forrester (93-0), Dalkeith (35-3) and RHC Cougars (27-20) in the regional competition. Their national semi-final was against Irvine who they eclipsed, 12-6.
Second-row and captain, Blair Cowan, said: “We have worked hard all season and want to continue in the same vein of our results on Saturday. We have had extra sessions throughout the year and we’ve just employed a new strength and conditioning coach, Jason Riley.
I believe all the hard work is paying off and I’ve never been in a team with such a good team spirit. Apart from one or two players everyone is from Prestonpans.
“We’re confident that if we stick to our game plan we can get the result we need. There are a lot of youngsters in the team, it would be a massive for the whole club if we won, but also a great stepping stone for these players to move forward in their rugby.”
Tickets for Saturday are on sale at each of the clubs through these contacts. Clubs retain the proceeds of all tickets they sell for RBS Finals Day. Tickets are also available from Broadwood Stadium on the day for £10 for adults and £5 for under-18s.
If you can't make it along to Broadwood Stadium on Saturday you will still be able to catch all of the RBS Finals Day action online as Scottish Rugby TV will be streaming all matches live.