A nail-biting season

Back-row forward Alan Auld, who was playing stand off for Allan Glens just a season ago, has been named GHA's player of the season.
Back-row forward Alan Auld, who was playing stand off for Allan Glens just a season ago, has been named GHA's player of the season.

ALTHOUGH neighbouring clubs GHA and Whitecraigs both face nail-biting climaxes to the season, only GHA have their fate in their own hands.

They face a double header against league leaders Howe of Fife, knowing that two wins and a bonus point will bring the title to Braidholm.

However, Whitecraigs concluded their league campaign a fortnight ago with a 31-10 derby win against West of Scotland.

Now, their fate will be decided during Saturday’s clash between Selkirk and Hillhead Jordanhill.

Westend club Hillhead Jordanhill have had two championship points deducted for their failure to fulfill their Premier C fixture against Selkirk on March 3.

However, the Hughenden side can be promoted with a bonus point win of 27 points or more.

West Lodge side Whitecraigs are currently occupy fourth place - the final promotion position- with 41 points while Hills sit in fifth with 36 points following the deduction.

Whitecraigs coach Jim Henderson told ExtraSport: “We have beaten all the teams below us with bonus points so we are good value for the division. “It would be gutting to go down but we are just waiting for a decision so we can move forward”.

GHA trail Howe by seven points in Premier three but with a superior points difference meaning, to win the league, they must win both games and permit Howe to only achieve one more bonus point than they do so themselves.

Howe, on the other hand, know a win or a draw in either fixture will be enough to secure the title.

GHA received a blow as experienced hooker Donald Malcolm is set to miss the game at Duffus Park but they have been buoyed by the continuing form of Alan Auld, who was named player of the year on Saturday.

Coach Gordon Macpherson has described the converted flanker as a “revelation” this season.

He told ExtraSport: “It hasn’t surprised me as the back row is not too dissimilar to an inside back.

Both have to perform all tasks on the rugby field.

“He has led by example in the forwards and his experience and performance will be key on Saturday.

“Winning the league is within our reach but we let ourselves down with some poor form earlier in the season.

“Given the quality on our side it will be a bit of a failure if we don’t win the league.

“Although, the way a lot of the young guys have improved over the season gives me a lot of confidence for next year, when promotion is up for grabs”.

Kick off for the first of two “cup-finals” is in Cupar is at 3pm on Saturday.

Cartha’a 20-19 victory against Dalziel on Saturday assured the Dumbreck side of a fifth place finish in Premier three.