GLASGOW rugby has devalued its own cup competition. The final between

Clarkston and Dumfries will be contested this evening at Cumnock, and

with due respect to the backwoodsmen of Ayrshire rugby, the Broomfield

ground, without spectator facilities, is far from ideal for the deciding

match in even a competition that has fallen below the realms of first


Admittedly, some rugby followers like to stand out in the elements.

Others wish a seat in a stand, but a district cup final should be played

at a ground where the notebook does not run the risk of turning into a

slab of papier mache. Perhaps, of course, the Glasgow committee are

suggesting that their final is not worth reporting.

Cumnock is, admittedly, a halfway house as a neutral venue, but if the

district officials, as cup organisers, wished to try to lift the

competition to the respect it once held, then they should surely have

staged the final elsewhere in Ayrshire. Millbrae, Ayr's ground, would

have been just as convenient, and it has the added facility of having

floodlights, which would have permitted a later kick-off more suitable

to both clubs.

Tonight's match brings together the beaten finalists of the past two

seasons. Dumfries, in fact, have lost both of their previous finals, in

1982 and 1989, whereas Clarkston have had one win, nine years ago, out

of five.

Dumfries will be strengthened by the return of Jim McKirdle, the lock

who was unavailable for the semi-final in which Dumfries beat

Hutchesons' last week, but Clarkston have not yet settled on a definite

XV because of injury to Alan Carle. The regular scrum half had a gashed

knee, and as cover Clarkston have included Kenny Robb in their squad.

Clarkston -- F G E McCready; B Middler, G Coyne, S Gerry, J L Price; S

McKean, K Robb or A M Carle; N J McBreartry, S Quinn, G McIlwham, A

Stern, A Tunn, K Fairbairn, R I Biggin, A MacDougall.

Dumfries -- D B Murray; J Richardson, D L Murray, A Graham, P Gourley;

A Howat, A Fairgrieve; L Davidson, R McDonald, A Craik, J McKirdle, A

Bryden, M Hunt, G McKirdle, A Goldie.

THE Dumfries Octocentenary Invitation Cup match at Park Farm will be

contested by the host club and a Dumfries and Galloway Select a week

today (kick-off 6.30).

CURRIE, runners-up in the national league's second division, have been

named McEwan's Club of the Month for March.


Glasgow and District Cup. Final -- Clarkston v Dumfries (at Cumnock,


SRU/Digital Youth League. Final -- Ayr v Gala Wanderers (at

Murrayfield, 6.30).