Rugby followers of a nervous disposition are advised to turn away this weekend as the top four teams in the Premiership do battle in the Borders.
As things stand Melrose lie in pole position on 38 points, with Heriot’s a couple of points adrift in second. Gala (31) and then Ayr (30) are next in line, both with two games in hand on the table-toppers.
But all this could change on Saturday when Ayr travel to the Greenyards and less than five miles away Heriot’s arrive at Netherdale fresh from a convincing 30-17 victory over Melrose last week during which they scored five tries.
Still smarting from their Goldenacre experience, however, Melrose head coach John Dalziel and his men are keen to keep their footing on the top rung.
Dalziel told The Southern: “Ayr are a fantastic side and the last few matches between the two teams have been very competitive.
“Everyone is looking forward to the game, but with all top four top teams playing each other this weekend, it’s key we make sure we are on the right side of our result. Last week was disappointing to lose away to a very good Heriot’s side, but we know where we went wrong in terms of performance and we cannot wait to get back out there at the Greenyards and right a few wrongs.
“The players have worked very hard and showed great resilience over the last few weeks to achieve top spot and they are determined not to give it up easily.”
Melrose have no fresh injuries, with Alan Dodds and Blair Hutchison returning to full fitness this week and hopefully available to be considered for selection.
Over at Netherdale, Gala are equally keen to notch up another victory following their impressive 48-16 win at Currie last week.
The Maroons may be boosted by the inclusion of Zimbabwean sevens star Gerald Sibanda.
Hawick are also in top-flight action over at Mansfield Park, where the Teries welcome Glasgow Hawks.
In the National League, Selkirk have a chance of gaining themselves a position or two when they take on second-placed Watsonians at Myreside. Peebles are also on the road, travelling to play GHA, while Kelso welcome Biggar to Poynder Park.