THE final make-up for next season’s Premiership will be decided tomorrow [Saturday] afternoon, with either Gala or Musselburgh looking to maximise points in their final re-arranged National League One matches to secure that all important sixth spot in the table.
Gala are currently a single point ahead of Musselburgh but face a tough trip to Marr, who are not only at full-strength and undefeated at home this season, but will also be fully motivated for the match through the knowledge that they need a positive result to make certain they finish the campaign as National One champions. The Borderers will, however, take some encouragement from the fact that they were responsible for one of only three league defeats the Fullarton Park men have suffered this season when they came out on top [31-17] at Netherdale back in October.
Musselburgh also face an almighty challenge in their final match because they host second in the table Jed-Forest, who are only three points off the pace and therefore know that they need a big result in order to capitalise in the event of Marr slipping up. Like Gala, they will take encouragement from having come out on top against this weekend’s opponents the only previous time the two sides have met in the league this year, when they claimed a 17-30 win at Riverside Park on 27th October.
The side which claims that sixth spot will join the four Premiership clubs which were not selected for Super 6 [Currie Chieftains, Edinburgh Accies, Glasgow Hawks and Hawick], plus the teams which have already secured the top five final seedings in National One [Marr, Jed, GHA, Aberdeen Grammar and Selkirk], in the newly constructed top tier of the club game next season.
National One table, as it stands –
Musselburgh: Martin Cimprich; Tom Foley, James Ferguson, Ronan Stott, Gregor Tait; Brian Walls, Kyle McGhie; Bob Stott, Ross Gregor, Colin Arthur, Jack Anderson, Jack Haynes, Jonathan Crain, Michael Fleming, Fraser Millar. Subs: Donald Grant, Euan Bonthron, Conor Slaven, Gary Neil, Cameron McMillan.
Jed-Forest: Lewis Young; Callum Young, Gregor Young, Monty Mitchell, Rory Marshall; Robbie Yourston, Gary Munro; Gregor Paxton, Paulo Ferreria, Jamie Oliver, John Szkudro, Clark Skeldon, Gregor Law, Daniel Wardrop, Darren Gillespie. Subs: Jamie Bowie, Cameron Mackay, Gavin Kerr, Jye NcGcough
Marr: Gregor Ness; Scott Bickerstaff, Gregor Paxton, Conor Bickerstaff, Richard Dalgleish; Colin Sturgeon, Findlay Hazel; William Farquhar, Ollie Rossi, Calvin Henderson, Ewan Hamilton-Bulger, Fraser Grant, Mackenzie Pearce, Kyle Vallance, Ross Miller. Subs: Stephen Adair, Graeme Dick, Ben Johnston, Andrew Mill, Liam McLoughlin.
Gala: Graham Speirs; Scott Wilkinson, John Turnbull, Ross Cooke, John Frew; Dean Keddie, Lachlan Johnston; Martin Christie, Jack Easson, Terry Logan, Chris Weir, Opeta Palepoi, Robbie Irvine, Liam Scott, Euan Dods. Subs: Alan Brown, Jack Chambers, Angus Dun, Ryan Mania, Fergus Johnston.
The only other re-arranged game in the division is the dead-rubber between Kelso and Cartha Queens Park at Poynder Park.
Wild in the West
Meanwhile, there is a huge game taking place in West League One with Greenock Wanderers hosting Allan Glen’s at Fort Matilda. This is the away team’s last game of the campaign and any sort of victory will see them leapfrog past East Kilbride to the top of the table, thereby earning promotion to the National Leagues next season. However, Greenock have two games left and need eight league points [two wins] to finish top. So, it really is do-or-die time for both clubs.
West Regional One table, as it stands –