THE battle for the league title will go right down to the wire, according to Haddington RFC head coach Kieran Cooney.

Haddington lead Hawick Harlequins by a single point at the top of East League Division One, with both teams left with just five games to play.

The Scarlets took another step towards an immediate return to the national leagues with a comfortable 50-7 win away to Hawick Linden tomorrow (Saturday).

Cooney (pictured) was expecting the fight with Linden’s near-neighbours Harlequins for the top spot to continue into the summer. He said: “I think it is going to go right down to the wire.

“Royal High [who sit third] play Hawick Harlequins in mid-February and it is going to go right down to the wire.

“It will be an interesting six or seven weeks for us but we are focused on Dunbar this week.

“Then, we have got a week off with the Six Nations and then it is back to business.

“It is Dunbar we need to focus on and then Portobello and we can build from there, and hopefully our confidence and momentum will pull us through.”

It is derby day this Saturday, with Haddington heading to Hallhill to face Dunbar in an Edinburgh Shield semi-final clash.

The winners will go on to face either Forrester or Royal High in the final.

Haddington have beaten Broughton and Ross High to get to the last four and Cooney was keen to see his players avoid any slip-ups against their East League Division Two neighbours.

He said: “Although we are top of the league, it is the unknown about Dunbar.

“We are still looking to put out our most competitive squad.”

Saturday’s win in the Borders came on the back of a home defeat to Royal High the weekend previously.

Cooney was pleased to see his side bounce back and called for more of the same between now and the end of the season.

He said: “It was obviously a good reaction from the boys.

“We were bitterly disappointed with the performance the week before.

“I felt we did not manage the game very well, did not play rugby in the right areas and kicked to them instead of into space.

“I think there was a bit of discussion around the performance last week and having a really positive reaction.

“We had a discussion around our aims and aspirations for the next three games, the next game and week on week.

“We need to look at what is ahead of us first.

“It was a complete squad performance from one to 19.

“The boys coming on added massive value.”