CHANCE FOR GREENS SHOOTS OF RECOVERY

Hawick skipper Bruce McNeil lifted the Skelly Cup last time out with win over Jed-Forest and now wants another victory over Gala this weekend
Hawick skipper Bruce McNeil lifted the Skelly Cup last time out with win over Jed-Forest and now wants another victory over Gala this weekend

Stuck at just about average, Hawick hope a match-up against BT Premiership rivals Gala in the Border League on Saturday sparks them into life.

The road forks for the Greens this weekend. In one direction is a victory over a Premiership rival – on their home turf – Border League points, a confidence boost ahead of a tough end-of-season run-in and confident strides in the right direction for the club as a whole following an abject season so far.

In the other direction winds the road too often travels by teams gasping for air. A big-game collapse against a relegation rival, uncertainty, doubts, rumblings amongst the club – not to mention the impatient Teri supporters – that the team is listing sideways towards relegation.

That is what is at stake on Saturday and the players know it.

“Looking at the bigger picture of the season overall, Saturday against Gala is a massive game for us from a confidence and momentum side of things,” said Greens captain Bruce McNeil this week.

“We are playing them [Gala] in a few weeks’ time in the league, which could decide the relegation places, so putting in a performance and earning a win over them now gives us a big boost heading into that pivotal match-up.

“Plus, it sets us up nicely for hard Glasgow Hawks game next weekend.

“We weren’t at our best against Jed [Forest] last week and all the boys are really looking forward to getting out there and making things right. These Border League games are sometimes given a bad name because it adds extra games and tires boys out during the season, but really this game couldn’t have come at a better time.

“It will get us ready for a crucial league run-in and hopefully an important win over a relegation rival.”

McNeil added: “Gala are a talented side who will give us a very good test. Any rust we might have built up over the Christmas break will hopefully be long gone by the end of the game.

“Boys won’t be carrying around any excess turkey weight. We will be all business.”