GHA v Stirling County – Preview

After a consistently impressive season and a thrilling final couple of games, GHA will head to Falkirk this Saturday to battle it out in a play-off game with Stirling County for a place in the BT Premiership.

GHA finished second in BT National League Division 1 as a result of a season that has seen them excel both at home and away and maintain a winning streak since their clash with league toppers Selkirk back in January.

The Division 1 runners up will be looking to finish off their remarkable run with a promotion back in to club rugby’s top tier in a historic game that has added significance as it was Stirling that ultimately relegated GHA from the Premiership back in 2008.

Stirling had a mixed start to their season but went into the new year with a number of victories under their belt and a place in the quarter-finals of the BT Cup.

Since then however, despite some close calls they have failed to win a game and have sat near the bottom of the table alongside Glasgow Hawks, Boroughmuir and Edinburgh Accies who have all been fighting to avoid relegation.

Both GHA and County have had a nail-biting end to their season as a points battle dominated both leagues and neither spot in the play-off game was filled until the final week.

GHA finally secured their play-off spot in their last game against Dundee and it was the ultimate game of the Premiership that saw Stirling narrowly lose to Hawks, cementing their own place in the play-off.

Head Coach Craig Sorbie admits that despite their position in the Premiership, GHA will not underestimate County’s ability and how much they have to lose:

“Stirling have been playing a higher level of rugby all season and are no doubt the strong favourites going in to the game.

“They have everything to lose going into Saturday but for us this game will very much be about focussing on ourselves and what we can do and how we can play for the 80 minutes.”

The Braidholm side have continued to impress throughout the season, exhibiting a strength of play and team spirit that has enabled them to overcome some of their strongest opponents within the last few minutes of a game.

Sorbie praised their form and says their place in the play-off is a true testament to the work effort he has seen this year, especially within the last few weeks since their win away to Dundee:

“It’s a real credit to the commitment of the boys, it highlights just how hard they have worked this season.

“Confidence is high going into this game and it’s a result of how hard they have worked, but these last few weeks of training have really shown how hungry the players are to go out and win.

“We’re playing into April now and still training as hard and we have the level of consistency that we had when we started back in June. It’s been a long year that has involved a large number of players and it really has been a full squad effort.

“That’s why we are in the position that we’re in and the fact that we made it to the play-off game is truly down to their effort and dedication to the club, so whatever way Saturday goes we will finish off having had a season to be proud of.”

With so much at stake, Saturday’s game will no doubt be the most exciting to date as Stirling look to cling on to their Premiership status for another year. However, GHA will be there with four busloads of Braidholm supporters and many more travelling by car, looking to showcase just how hard they have worked to deserve their own place in the Premiership in September.

Kick off is 3pm. 

Address of Falirk Rugby Club:
?Dorrator Rd, Falkirk FK2 7YW

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