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IT’S CRUNCH time in the RBS Premiership this weekend as Melrose welcome Ayr to the Greenyards, hoping they can knock their westerly rivals off the top spot, writes Fiona Scott.

In order to achieve this, Craig Chalmers’ outfit require a bonus-point victory and director of rugby Mike Dalgetty has issued a plea to the Melrose supporters to go along and help spur the team.

He also knows, however, that his team need to be in top form for the clash.

Dalgetty said: “The players and coaches worked hard to rectify the disappointment of our result against Heriot’s. Everyone involved was really positive and determined to get a win in order to set up a top-of-the-table clash with Ayr this Saturday.

“Ayr will arrive full of confidence and rightly so as they are the only side in the league to remain undefeated and that’s only four games in.

“I have no doubt further improvements on our part will be required. They are a completely different side from last year and determined to take the title from us.”

Gala are only one point behind Melrose, in third place on the table, and will be looking for a victory over Boroughmuir at Netherdale this weekend to keep up their challenge at the top of the table.

In the National League, Selkirk also are involved in a table-top battle when they play host to Glasgow Hawks at Philiphaugh.

The Souters trail the leaders by a point, having won the same amount of games with a bonus point less, and a win would not only keep up their undefeated run but also send them clear into first place.

Kelso are proving to be a surprise package in the National league, having secured two home victories and a mid-table position. And this weekend they travel to play Stewart’s Melville FP who have yet to record a win in the league. Following a dogged performance against close rivals Jed-Forest last weekend, Kelso back row man Michael Robertson said: “This league is really mixed up and everyone is capable of beating everyone else. One of our main aims is to win our home games, but I firmly believe we can beat anybody on our day.”

Jed fought back in the second half of last week’s derby tie at Poynder Park with youngster Declan Wallace particularly impressing when coming off the bench. They were also boosted by the inclusion of Ewan Scott, who has returned to his former club following a spell in New Zealand, and will be hoping they can build on that performance when facing Hamilton at Riverside.

Hawick are also involved in home action and welcome Biggar to Mansfield Park. Former Greens coach Deek Armstrong will be in charge of the opposition, who will be without another ex-Hawick man, Bruce McNeil, who is currently serving a three-match ban.