Derby unaffected as East League is revamped again

DUNS and Berwick will lock horns in a local derby again next season after finishing their East League 1 campaigns inside the top three.

Further league restructuring before the start of next season will see the top five finishers in East 1 this season retain their East 1 status, and join the bottom five East-based clubs in National 1 this season, who are Livingston, Edinburgh University, Linlithgow, Langholm and RHC.

Preston Lodge, who have won all 17 games and have one game left to play, are set to be crowned East 1 champions. They only beat Duns with the last kick of the game at the Hardens last month, but will prove worthy winners of the title.

Nevertheless, Duns have finished an impressive second after 14 wins and four defeats from 18 games, with Berwick just one further back in third. Portobello and Hawick Linden currently make up the top five, however, North Berwick have one match to play, and a win or a draw at pointless Lismore (actually they have -2 points) will secure them the final place in the new league for next season.

Ross High occupied fifth place in the table prior to their match against Duns at the weekend, and knew that finishing the season in that position would be sufficient for them to retain their East 1 status for season 2012/13.

A win against Duns was therefore vital, and having been unbeaten in their previous four league matches they went into the game full of confidence. But Duns dug deep to round off their campaign on a high with a 14-6 victory. Berwick went down 22-19 away to North Berwick.