Linden make positive pitch

Hawick Linden are aiming to herald a new dawn with a derby victory over Harlequins at Volunteer Park tomorrow (Saturday).

Finding yourself languishing at the bottom of the table, 19 points adrift of safety and having lost the last 11 games – winless during the 2015/16 season – positives are hard to come by.

But the Volunteer Park club are counting down the days until a council and Sportscotland-funded, with assistance from the Bill McLaren Park Ltd and Hawick Sports Initiative, state-of-the-art £1million 3G sports pitch and training facilities are installed at the their home.

“This season has been difficult, really we are counting down the days until the new training facilities,” said Linden head coach David Grant, adding: “The weather this season has been dreadful, it’s left us struggling for numbers at training and even getting out to train at all, which has affected our play in games. The new facilities will hopefully help attract more to the club which, in turn, will help us improve on the pitch.”

With the new facilities, Grant believes the club has a bright future after a number of tough years.

He said: “Quins are a good side, a confident one, and we know it is going to be tough, but in derby games form goes out the window. Saturday is the start of a six-game home stand for us and we want to start as we mean to go forward. We want to finish strong and lead into what is a bright future for Hawick Linden.”

Harlequins head coach Gary Murdie echoed his counterpart’s comments, believing that tomorrow’s clash is anyone’s, and is preparing for the usual fire when the two sides clash.

He said: “Yes, we are confident and we won the last game, but it’s a derby and anything can happen. In the last game they had a terrific second half. This weekend we’re expecting it to be a full 80 minutes.”