Heriot’s will be looking to return to winning ways and make it a treble against Capital rivals Boroughmuir when the sides clash on BT Premiership duty at Goldenacre tomorrow (kick off 2pm).
The champions took the honours in the pre-season Charity Shield then repeated that success in the league encounter at Meggetland four weeks ago. Neither side has posted a win since then. Consequently, Heriot’s now trail leaders Ayr by ten points, while Muir have slid to eighth place in the table.
The hosts have Clarke Smith and John Rae in for the unavailable Russell Nimmo and injury victim Josh Laird respectively, and coach Phil Smith is confident that his men will halt the losing run.
“While recent results have gone against us there is still a feeling that we are close to playing to a level that will see us return to winning ways,” he said. “I just hope nerves don’t get the better of the players and we have an open, free-flowing game that is worthy of a local derby.”
Muir again have Edinburgh winger Otulea Katoa lining up, but coach Bruce Aitchison is without Alex Cox and Iain Moody, meaning starting berths for Mark Hare and Craig Keddie.
Aitchison is desperate to take the honours this time, saying, “We’ve played Heriot’s twice this season already. We’re looking to turn the tables on them at Goldenacre and come out with a win. Weather permitting, this should be an open game.”
An impressive win at Gala has moved Currie back to within striking distance of the top four. Coach Ben Cairns is looking for more of the same when he takes his side to meet a Stirling County team that has improved significantly since a first day hammering at Malleny Park.
“We are in a positive frame of mind,” said Cairns, who moves Fidias Efthymiou from wing to centre in place of Joe Reynolds, who has now returned to New Zealand. Glasgow pro Rory Hughes comes in on the wing and will relish the prospect of lining up against his former team mates.
“Until now, we haven’t strung a run of games together. That is now two out of two and our aim is to make it three from three then keep the run going as long as we can and keep going up the table,” added Cairns.
Meanwhile, Watsonians will be looking to remain in pole position in BT National Division One with victory at Aberdeen Grammar. The hosts conceded 50 points to Edinburgh Accies last time out, having scored a half century in the previous game, so a high scoring encounter looks likely.
Accies, who are now on the verge of the promotion race, go to Kelso looking for a repeat of last week’s success to keep the momentum going.
Another side looking to build on a positive result is Stewart’s Melville who rediscovered the wining feeling at home to GHA and now need a similar result away to deposed leaders Marr who will be going all out to bounce back from their loss against ‘Sonians.
Two successive defeats have seen Musselburgh slip into the lower half of the table and the Stoneyhill men will aim to halt that slide when they welcome Dundee High.
In Division Three, Preston Lodge are on the road to play basement side Greenock Wanderers, looking to maintain their promotion bid. Lasswade could move clear of the bottom two if they see off Kirkcaldy at Hawthornden.
Haddington currently sit third in Division Three but would blow the title race wide open if they reproduce the battling spirit that yielded a bonus point win over Orkney in their match away to unbeaten pacesetters GHK.
Livingston could boost their own cause and help Haddington by getting the better of second-placed Dumfries Saints at Almond Park, while RHC Cougars will be buoyed by an impressive win last Saturday when they travel to face Perthshire.