In what will be an incredibly rare occasion in recent memory, Musselburgh will be competing for silverware this Saturday at Raeburn Place with the Bill McLaren Shield up for grabs as we play the current holders Edinburgh Accies in the Tennent’s Premiership.
But what exactly is the Bill Mclaren Shield and what would it mean if we won?
The Bill McLaren Shield was formed in 2011 in honour of the legendary Hawick commentator who was better known as the “voice of rugby”. Hawick were the first holders of the trophy and was contested for the first time in September 2011 in a match against Boroughmuir.
The Shield is an open challenge to all clubs in the Premiership and National Leagues. After a team has won The Shield from the holder they then must remain unbeaten for four consecutive home games in order to get their name engraved onto the trophy (the holders must win or draw these matches). If a team beats them at home then they shall become the new holders.
If they achieve this then all games thereafter will be contested for The Shield home and away. The team that subsequently defeats them will become the new holders and repeat the same process.
Edinburgh Accies became the new holders of The Shield earlier this year after they defeat Hawick at Raeburn Place. Hawick themselves had just had their name engraved on The Shield the week before, defeating Selkirk at Mansfield Park, and the game was their first defence on the road.
Accies then went onto record three straight home wins after beating GHA, Glasgow Hawks and Aberdeen Grammar. If they win this weekend then they will have their name engraved and will start to defend The Shield both home and away, ironically starting next week at the team they beat in the first place, Hawick.
However, if Musselburgh are to stop the engraver from writing Accies name and win on Saturday then we will become the holders for the first time in our history. Our first defence would be against Glasgow Hawks next week and if we were to have our name etched on The Shield we would have to defeat Hawks, Jed-Forest (15th January), Marr (22nd January) and Currie (19th February).
It’s all to play for this weekend at Raeburn Place.