by Jack Nixon
After the thrills or in Scotland’s case the spills of the Six Nations, the domestic game will take priority in the Caledonian Leagues, no more so than in Caley Division I where while nothing will be resolved at the head of affairs it will be a significant weekend.
Dunfermline and Orkney, the leading two in the top Caley league have key fixtures which if lost could be disastrous in the run in.
The Fifers are at home to Caithness who many believe, including myself that the Millbank side could be challenging for honours next season, and may well take the chance to set their stall out early at McKane Park.
The islanders also have home advantage and will need no motivation for the visit of Ellon who are flying up on Saturday morning, no doubt hoping to fly in under the radar and catch Orkney sleeping after a lay off of six weeks. Not that head coach Garry Coltherd is likely to be caught napping by the equally ambitious Aberdeenshire side who like Caithness could be in the promotion mix next season.
2nd Highland can put one hand on the Caley 2 North trophy should they pick up five points from their home game with Mackie FP’s, while Aberdeenshire will need to do the same when they make the short trip to Rubislaw where old rivals 2nd Aberdeen Grammar lie in waiting. For those who like double headers, a 2pm start at the Rubislaw derby clash gives supporters of the local game to take in Aberdeen Grammar’s last home in the Premiership later in the afternoon.
Elsewhere Banff meet Moray in what would normally be a meaningless fixture, expect the two ancient participants don’t do friendly fixtures against each other.
Now that 2nd Gordonians have successfully wrapped up Caley 3 North, the main focus is in the so called low orders in Caley 4 North where Dyce and 3rd Highland are the two contenders for the title. The Aberdeen side lead the race by five points but have played a game more, play Deeside in Aberdeen while 3rd Highland face a tricky derby test in Caithness where the Thurso side would love the opportunity to deny their Highland neighbours a title.
The outcome will almost certainly go to the following week, unless Dyce slip up, and the Canal Park pick up maximum points at Millbank.