The BT Cup quarter-finals take place this Saturday, kick-off 3pm, as the contenders battle it out for a semi-final spot ahead of BT Cup Finals Day at BT Murrayfield on 22 April.
Defending champions Heriot’s travel to the Borders to face Melrose in a repeat of last season’s final, as both look to battle it out for a place in the semi-final.
Both sides have secured a play-off position in the BT Premiership and will aim to take their season’s form into this Saturday’s match.
Heriot’s Head Coach, Phil Smith, said: “The Greenyards will test us to the full as we play the in-form team of the season at pretty much full strength.
The game should throw up interesting contests with two excellent back-rows vying for control, and two midfields with contrasting skill sets. Whoever can win these two battles will have an excellent chance of coming out on top; a Cup cracker in the making.”
Melrose might have the home advantage but Head Coach Robert Chrystie knows his side must turn up and give maximum effort if they are to put away the capital side.
Chrystie said: “This promises to be an intriguing match with both teams knowing each other well having played each other three times already this season.
After an excellent result down at Jed last Friday night and with the six Scotland Club XV internationalists returning, the squad is in a positive place.”
Jed-Forest – currently third in BT National League Division 1 – are the only team not involved in the top flight to have made the final stages, and will look to challenge Ayr who are currently first in the BT Premiership at Millbrae.
Jed’s Head Coach, Jammy McFarlane, said: “Saturday presents us with a wonderful opportunity to not only test ourselves against the best club side in the country, but to compete for a spot in the semi-final of a prestigious national competition.
We are very aware of the enormity of the task but I’m sure out players will rise to the occasion and give their best. Hopefully our travelling support enjoy their day at Millbrae and are rewarded with a performance that they know we are capable of.”
The Borders’ outfit defeated Dalziel and Falkirk respectively, and were awarded their latest BT Cup fixture against Aberdeenshire to see them up against the Millbrae men in the quarter-finals.
In the West, Glasgow Hawks hope to return to winning ways at Old Anniesland after two consecutive league losses, while Gala look to give it their all in this competition despite facing relegation from the BT Premiership at the end of the season.
With the pressure of the league season off their back, Stirling County will be determined to bounce back at home against Boroughmuir having come up against strong sides in the closing stages of the BT Premiership.
Melrose v Heriot’s, The Greenyards, 3pm
Melrose: Fraser Thomson; Austin Lockington, Nyal Godsmark, George Taylor, Sam Pecqueur; Jason Baggott, Murdo McAndrew; Dan Elkington, Russell Anderson, Ruairi McLeod, James Head, Lewis Carmichael, Ruaridh Knott, Grant Runciman CAPTAIN, Iain Moody. Replacements: Cameron McKay, Callum Crookshanks, Aaron Welsh, Ali Grieve, Bruce Colvine, Craig Jackson, Gavin Wood.
Heriot’s: John Semple; Charlie Simpson, Robbie Mulveena, Junior Rosalea, John Rae; Alex Hagart, Tom Wilson; Martin Bouab, Michael Liness, Struan Cessford, Russell Nimmo, Callum Marshall, Michael Maltman, Jack McLean, Struan Dewar. Replacements: Ali Johnstone, Grant Blair, Clarke Smith, Nick Sutherland, Rory Carmichael CAPTAIN, Gavin Parker, Robert Kay.
Ayr v Jed-Forest, Millbrae, 3pm
Ayr: Grant Anderson; Jamie Bova, Archie Russell, Danny McCluskey, Craig Gossman; Frazier Climo, David Armstrong; George Hunter, Lewis Anderson, Steven Longwell, Rob McAlpine, Scott Sutherland, Blair Macpherson, Will Bordill, Pete McCallum CAPTAIN. Replacements: David Young, Adam Prentice, Craig Stevenson, Gregor Henry, Harry Warr, Graham Hunter, Richard Dalgleish.
Jed-Forest: Lewis Young; Robbie Shira Gibb, Gregor Young CAPTAIN, Monty Mitchell, Rory Marshall; Robbie Yourston, Sean Goodfellow; Ryan Gibson, Grant Paxton, Connor Hogg, Jamie Hynd, Clark Skeldon, Gregor Law, Graham Robson, Donald Grieve. Replacements: Gary Clarkson, Gary Munro, Callum Young.
Glasgow Hawks v Gala, Old Anniesland, 3pm
Glasgow Hawks: Jack Steele; Brendan McGroarty, Paddy Kelly, David Milne, Kerr Gossman; Hagen Schulte, Adam Lowry; Steven Findlay, Grant Stewart, Gary Strain, Greg Peterson, Andrew Kirkland, Steven Leckey, Matt Smith, Tommy Spinks CAPTAIN. Replacements: Cammy Fenton, Chris Barnes, Tijuee Uainivi, Ross Miller, Robbie Houston.
Gala: Graham Speirs CAPTAIN; Ross Combe, Sasa Tofilau, Lewis Berg, Dwayne Burrows; Gregor Mein, George Lott; Chris Keen, Dean Brooker, Terry Skeet, Sean Johnstone, Rob Louw, Gary Adams, Stevie Cairns, Harry Borthwick. Replacements: Curtis Reynolds, Ritchie Tod, John Watson, Fraser Hunter, Simon Fairburn, Paul Hendry, Craig Robertson.
Stirling County v Boroughmuir, Bridgehaugh, 3pm
Stirling County: Jonny Hope CAPTAIN; Shaun MacDonald, Andrew McLean, Alex Black, Logan Trotter; Ross Jones, Matt Donaldson; Mike MacDonald, Reyner Kennedy, Mark Hunter, Hamilton Burr, Adam Sinclair, Andrew Grant-Suttie, Alex Taylor, Ruairidh Leishman. Replacements: Matthew Emmison, Craig Black, Stef Yarrow, Colin Turnbull, Logan Bonnar.
Boroughmuir: Dougie Steele; Jordan Edmunds, Alex Cox, Greg Cannie, Rab Cairns; Chris Laidlaw, Blair Mills; Dale Robertson, Tristan King, Tom Gracie, Matt Tweddle, Callum Atkinson, Aubrey Mcube, Dan Coulter, Craig Keddie. Replacements: Stuart Clark, Dan Winning, Rory Woodland, Sam Johnson, Ronan Kerr.