Unbeaten Heriot, Clutha to vie for top spot

The two unbeaten sides will face each other in Balclutha tomorrow as the battle to get top spot goes on the line in the Southern regional club competition.

Heriot, after a couple of years where it has been among the contenders without really making a statement, is the only side with an unblemished record, having scored four wins from four games.

It will face up to defending champion Clutha today, which has recorded three wins and a draw - against Toko - although thanks to bonus points it is tied at the top of the table with Heriot on 18 points.

Heriot should have plenty of confidence and will have the incentive of celebrating big prop Blair Young's 250th game for the club.

There was no club play in South Otago last week because of Easter, and the traditional game between combined sides from the north and south took place on Good Friday. Northern triumphed.

Heriot's last game out was a close 32-29 win over Clinton, in Clinton, on April 13.

Heriot managed to hang on after Clinton came back from a 12-point deficit and will be all the better for the tough match.

Clutha had a good 29-24 win over Crescent in its last match, playing well at Kaitangata, although it had issues with discipline and picked up three yellow cards. It must improve this part of the game against a Heriot side which will feast on any errors.

Tyler Buchan should be back for Clutha after a slow start to the season with injury.

In other games, Roxburgh will take on Clutha Valley in Clydevale. Roxburgh scored its first win in the last round but may not be as strong away from home.

Owaka will undertake the trip to Kaitangata to take on Crescent, which will be a real test for Owaka. The side has been a cellar-dweller for many years but things have been on the up over the past couple of seasons and a win over Crescent would be a real mark of improvement.

The other match - Toko v Clinton, at Milton - should be a tight battle.

 - A story on Blair Young will be published tomorrow.


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