Saturdays don’t get much more important than this

FOR Melrose and Gala, every weekend is a mammoth one at the moment and this one will be no different.

Should Craig Chalmers’ outfit beat Aberdeen Grammar, at the Greenyards, and Currie do likewise at Dundee, then Melrose would retain their Championship title.

If not, Melrose will have to wait another fortnight when a victory over Boroughmuir would secure the silverware. It hasn’t all been plain sailing for the black and golds this season, however. Defeat at the hands of local rivals Gala last weekend underlined that. And Melrose director of rugby Mike Dalgetty knows only too well how tough it is at the top of Scottish rugby’s elite.

“Defeat is always hard and from our point of view last week was simply a poor performance,” he said following last week’s local derby.

“There’s no time for feeling sorry for ourselves, big games need big players and big performances and they don’t come any bigger than the next one versus Aberdeen.

“There is no doubt that we have just made what was always going to be a very difficult task (defending the title) a fair bit harder.

“We have two games left and are one point in front, had we been offered that at the outset would we have taken it? ... You bet we would have, it’s simply up to ourselves to try to take this opportunity.”

For Gala, the lure of a British and Irish Cup place still beckons and a win on the road against Ayr on Saturday would secure them that all-important third slot on the table. See fixture panel below for all other weekend games.

z Hawick High School’s hopes of lifting a second trophy in successive years were dashed after losing to Madras College (29-12) in the final of the Brewin Dolphin Scottish School Under-16 Bowl at Murrayfield on Tuesday night.

The 2011 Plate winners came into the Bowl final on the back of a 34-0 semi-final win over Biggar High School, but knew that their opponents from St Andrews had an equally impressive record in the latter stages of the competition.

In the event, the difference came down to the individual brilliance of the Madras College stand-off, Jon Price, who this weekend is in the Scotland Under-16 squad. The talented Price, voted man of the match, not only scored two solo tries, but also kicked three conversions and a penalty for a 19-point contribution to his side’s victory.

“Madras deserved their win” conceded Hawick HS coach, David Marshall. “The final scoreline, however, was not a fair reflection of the difference between the two teams.”

Both sides defended well, played good support rugby and moved the ball slickly in a tight first half, at the end of which Madras, with a solo try from Price and a touchdown from lock Alisdair Taylor, led 15-7, Hawick’s points having come from a try by full back Craig Glendinning and conversion from stand-off Dean Gillan.

Hawick narrowed the gap with an early second half try by Ryan Elliot, but with Price and winger Jack Maclean scoring converted tries, it was Madras who finished convincing winners.

Hawick HS: C. Glendinning; S. Solley, G. Huggan, D. Redpath, R. Elliot; D. Gillan, B. Hall; R. Linton, E. Silviera, C. Breiter, J. Gray, J. Scott, M. Trotter, R. Mclean, C. Richardson. Subs: R. Hartdegen, F. Renwick, D. Lightfoot, R. Jeffrey, W. Ballantyne, A. Anderson, S. Chapman.