NORTH Berwick RFC’s bid for promotion could go right down to the wire, according to the team’s head coach.

The club were firmly in with a shout of winning East League Division Two when the campaign was halted at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic last March.

Mark Coull’s men will be aiming to be up there challenging once again but know it is going to be a long and hard season.

He said: “The players definitely want to get promoted. A lot of them were playing in the league above and want to go to the league above.

“Of course, it would be good to be promoted but you need to be careful you are not arrogant when you start speaking about what you want to do, but the capability of the squad is there.

“From how we have played so far, we could get promoted but at the same time there are some tough games on the road.

“We’ve got to go to Langholm and Hawick and we have got some tough games to play.

“We have not played Leith yet and Trinity, you look at the score [73-8] that they put up against Livingston.

“There are more teams in the running than last season. I cannot see anyone pulling away.”

North Berwick had started the season in fine form with victories over Livingston, Inverleith and Corstorphine.

However, they were edged out 25-20 by Penicuik on Saturday.

The East Lothian side now sit third in the table, level with Leith and one point behind early leaders Langholm.

East Lothian Courier: Mark Coull is expecting a tight race for the East League Division Two title this seasonMark Coull is expecting a tight race for the East League Division Two title this season

Coull (pictured) was full of praise for his opponents, who held on determinedly at the end to ensure victory.

He said: “I think all the way through the game, there were only a few points in it. Even at the end, we had a last scrum and could have gone under the posts. That would have been it at least tied up with a kick in front of the posts.

“They managed to rip the ball away and it showed it meant a lot to them when the referee blew the final whistle.”

The start of the new season on September 4 finally brought to an end a long period of inactivity for rugby clubs.

Coull, who was previously the development officer at the club, was pleased there were still a healthy number of players at training.

He said: “We have, fortunately, as a club come out the other side really well. We have got five youth teams, the senior squad and we use a variety of players. Even for the Inverleith game, we had 22 for the team that played them and still managed to scratch another seven players for them to come and play.”