TENNENT’S PREMIERSHIP: Pair meet in potentially pivotal encounter
The leaders of the chasing pack go head to head in round seven of the Tennent’s Premiership as Currie Chieftains welcome Aberdeen Grammar to Malleny Park for what promises to be an intriguing affair in the last tranche of fixtures before the league breaks for two weeks.
Both sides are averaging more than 35 points per game and have a solitary defeat apiece, with the visitors in particularly irresistible form having won four on the trot to assume third place in the table. Currie are also flying and have comfortably won their three previous home ties this season.
With Marr threatening to keep up their unbeaten record, the winners of this fixture will remain in form contention to keep up pace, although defeat for either side would not prove fatal to any title aspirations.
Currie Chieftains Assistant Head Coach Ally Donaldson is relishing such a keenly anticipated game, saying: “Aberdeen will be full of confidence and experience; they have made a great start on their return to the Premiership. They are a physical side with threats all over the park. We feel we have made some improvements in recent weeks but still need to keep getting better, to be as close to the top of our game as possible. The league is reaching a crucial stage. We have prepared well this week for the specific challenges Aberdeen will bring.
Aberdeen Grammar’s Ali O’Connor, whose side won promotion last term by finishing fourth in National One, is under no illusions as to the task presenting itself: “We haven’t played Currie for a number of years so we are looking forward to travelling and measuring ourselves against one of the league leaders at present. It promises to be a good game and hopefully we can produce a performance worthy of taking points from the match. They have some excellent players and are going well in the league so our boys are pretty motivated to get down there and show what we can do.”
Other Tennent’s Premiership fixtures include the meeting of two top-flight mainstays at Mansfield Park as Hawick play host to Glasgow Hawks, with both sides in need of points to steer themselves clear of the wrong end of the table.
Jed-Forest travel to Glasgow to face GHA buoyed by last weekend’s home win over Musselburgh, who in turn are on the road to the borders once more, this time to face Selkirk at Philiphaugh.
Finally, Edinburgh Accies’ once more go on their travels, although coach Iain Berthinussen remains in good spirits about the trip through to Marr, saying: “We are on the road again and loving it. Marr is clearly a tough place to pick up wins. They have a fantastic record and have started this season very strongly. However, with a week off last Saturday and putting right some wrongs in training, we feel ready to take on the challenge ad look forward to a cracking game in Troon.”
The hosts’ Head Coach Craig Redpath is refusing to allow complacency to creep in to Marr’s preparation, stating: “Another tough home game against Edinburgh Accies, who will be looking for an away win to move them up the table - they have had a tough start playing away from home so far and I expect them to come with a strong challenge in the coming weeks once they play at home. After a tough game against Selkirk last week, where the score flattered us, we are looking for an improved team performance and to maintain the levels we reached in the last 15 minutes.”