SATURDAY could be a season-defining day for Selkirk and Hawick, writes Kenny Paterson.
Both clubs sit behind National League leaders Watsonians and Glasgow Hawks, and a defeat for either at Philiphaugh could spell the end of their promotion dreams.
Free-scoring Hawick start as slight favourites on account of their six-game unbeaten run, and coach Phil Leck, who expects to have a full squad to chose from, told TheSouthern: “The guys are working hard and we are now a little bit more professional, which is showing in our results.
“We train Wednesdays and Thursdays, but we are now also getting around 15 or so guys coming in on a Tuesday to analyse their game or do extra skills sessions.
“Although a defeat wouldn’t scupper our promotion chances, it would leave us relying on other results. However, losing is not in our psyche at the moment.
“With Watsonians and Glasgow Hawks to come to Hawick, a win would really set up us well.”
Selkirk coach Ewan Robbie is hopeful prop Gordon Patterson recovers from a finger injury he picked up in the victory at Kelso.
He told us: “Hawick like to throw the ball around and we will pay attention to them this week ahead of the game.
“However, we also have to concentrate on ourselves and be disciplined.
“We didn’t really set ourselves a target at the start of the season, but from this moment we have to say that we are now pushing for promotion.”
Also in the National League, bottom of the table Jed-Forest host top side Watsonians, while Kelso travel to Hamilton.
Craig Borthwick is back in contention for Gala this weekend for their home Premiership clash with Edinburgh Accies, after scoring on his debut for the Scotland rugby league team against England Knights last Sunday. Melrose, with Fraser Thomson and Bruce Dick back, hope to avoid three defeats on the row when they travel to Currie.