In this weekend’s latest Border derby matchups, Melrose host Selkirk in what, on paper, looks like a lopsided fixture of epic proportions.
The Philiphaugh men are 0-8 already, sit ten points adrift of second bottom Gala and look doomed to follow an unbeaten 2014 title-winning season with a winless 2015.
For assistant boss Cameron Cochrane, however, a breakthrough win over the title chasers this weekend isn’t out of the realm of possibility if recent form between the two sides is anything to go by.
“There’s no pressure on us despite sitting winless at the bottom of the table,” said Cochrane.
“Just look at the games between us in recent years. We are sort of a hoodoo team for Melrose so confidence-wise we’re well set for a possible upset.
We go into Saturday concentrating on ourselves. We showed against Ayr, Hawks and Hawick that when we have the ball we can make things happen. Hopefully with a little help we can finally get that elusive first win.”
Melrose (6-2) have combined an improved high-octane offense – up from 20.3 points per game last season to 24.6 this year - with an opportunistic defence to form a dangerous opponent for anyone.
The Greenyards unit look on course for another tussle at the summit of the BT Premiership but head coach John Dalziel issued a warning to his squad ahead of Saturdays contest, underestimate Selkirk at your peril, who he believes are far better than their record suggests.
“Selkirk have had a difficult start to the season but Border derbies are always very competitive and I’ve warned the boys to expect Saturday to be no different,” said Dalziel.
“Selkirk showed for 50-60 minutes against Ayr that they have what it takes to compete with the top sides in this division. I don’t think for one second they will remain winless the rest of the season, they are too good a side.
They will give us their best and we can’t underestimate them, we’ll have to be at the top of our game to get the win.”
Hawick put their four-game win streak up against league leaders Ayr at Millbrae on Saturday, a venue where Nikki Walker secured his first win as the head coach of the Greens last season. For Gala, the Maroons hope a home contest against Currie can kick-start their floundering season and end a torrid run of five games without a victory.
In National League one, Peebles followed their impressive victory over league leaders Marr with a dreadful 51-18 loss away to Aberdeen Grammar last weekend and the Gytes men host local rivals Kelso in an all borders contest. Jed-Forest host Dundee HSFP at Riverside Park.