Lure of derbies can boost Musselburgh

Martin Gill

Martin Gill

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Musselburgh rugby president Martin Gill hopes the prospect of a string of local derbies next season can help the side make a final promotion push into National League Division One when entertaining Howe of Fife at Stoneyhill tomorrow.

Various permutations exist involving leaders Burgh, second-place Howe, third-place Hamilton and also Aberdeenshire, currently fifth with a game in hand. But victory tomorrow would guarantee Musselburgh going up.

Gill said: “This will be out biggest game for many, many years. Past encounters with Howe have tended to go in favour of the home team so I hope the trend continues.

“If anybody had offered us this position at the start of the season we’d have jumped at it, especially as we have put ourselves in the hunt by claiming try bonus points from our last six games. I’ve every confidence that if coach Grant Talac and the team can keep focusing on the present we’ll go up and with the likes of Edinburgh Accies, Watsonians and possibly Stewart’s Melville as opponents in 2015-16 there is going to be some tremendous rugby ahead.”

Gill has praised the contribution of coach Talac, a former Edinburgh prop.

“Grant is steeped in the club. His dad is a past president and his wife is taking over the running of the mini-section where his two boys play.

“That sums up the community element as the team, which has included four sets of brothers, are basically guys who enjoy playing in each other’s company.

“Over the past year we have spent £250,000 improving facilities and it is testimony to the team that this has been done without neglecting what happens on the pitch.”