LIFE in East League Division one is proving tough for Hawick Linden and Hawick Harlequins.
Both are hovering just above the relegation area, which currently houses Portobello and Duns, and tomorrow they face each other.
For Quins coach Timmy Pretswell life is being made even more difficult by a sudden scarcity of players for this weekend’s game.
“This is not looking like being a good weekend,” he bemoaned when the News contacted him yesterday.
“We wont be making a final selection until tonight and that’s only if we have anyone left to select from.”
Pretswell has a grand total of 16 players missing from his squad of 30. Of that 16 he has 12 going to a stag party, one attending a wedding, one on holiday, one working and one on a training course.
“Injuries woes are not an option for the remaining players.
“I will be able to scrape something together but at the moment I am not sure at all what shape we will be in. Front row is a main concern but I’m sure we’ll be able to muddle through.”
With only five games played in the top flight regional set-up however Pretswell is confident that his team can get themselves on a firmer footing as the season progresses.
“Hell yes it’s tough being up a league,” he added.
“The difference in pace is unbelievable.
“Once we have a full squad again though I think we will be able to compete. We have a great bunch of guys here and even though there are a lot missing for tomorrow’s derby game, I am sure it will be as entertaining for the supporters as ever.”
For hosts Linden injury problems are a slight concern but don’t even go close to matching their opposition’s numerical difficulties. Committee man Gary Alexander told us: “There is still doubt over Jamie Gilchrist and Barry Sutherland, who were both injured last weekend, and we have no army boys this week, but apart from that everyone else is good to go.”
And despite hearing of his oppositions number problems Alexander says his team are still expecting a good battle.
“I spoke to Timmy on Tuesday night and new they would be players down but if I know him he will put a team together and it will be a good one,” he added.
“Both teams are desperate for a win.”