Alvin Pollard returns to boost Arbroath title bid

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Arbroath have experienced seamer Alvin Pollard back in their side as they travel to Carlton this afternoon knowing that a victory would see the CSL Eastern Premier Division title head to Lochlands.

The top two meet at Grange Loan with the home side needing a win to keep the title race going to the final weekend while, for Arbroath, one more victory would do.

With Carlton having been only one of two sides to inflict defeat on Arbroath in the league this summer, today’s encounter should be an exciting one and a large crowd is expected to assemble on the boundary in the capital.

Last week, the leaders defeated SMRH at Inverleith with 
Fraser Burnett leading the way with 98 not out and now Pollard, who was unavailable seven days ago, comes in for teenager Blair Carnegie.

Arbroath captain Marc Petrie said: “They don’t come much bigger than this. To win the title would be great for the club, but we cannot let our minds wander and we must play good cricket.

“To have Alvin back is good for us. It is a bit unlucky for Blair because he has done nothing wrong when called upon. However, at 17, he has a bright future at this club and Alvin’s experience is key in matches like this.”

Carlton go into the match on the back of a D/L win over Heriot’s and with a Scottish Cup final tomorrow against old rivals Barclays Grange to look forward to in Stirling.

For today, though, their major focus is the league and, although skipper Preston Mommsen is set to miss out as he rests a niggling injury ahead of tomorrow, their XI will still be strong. When they defeated Arbroath earlier on in the summer, Hamish Gardiner was the star with a century and Mommsen said: “We played well that day and we know now that we have to win our last two league matches to have a chance of finishing top – we will give it our all that’s for sure.”

Elsewhere today, Grange welcome SMRH to Portgower Place. Captain Neil McCallum returns with Josh Edwards not involved, but the latter is back in the squad for tomorrow.

SMRH, playing their final match a week before relegation rivals Stoneywood-Dyce, are without vice-captain Greg Bissett who is unavailable.

Stoneywood-Dyce host Watsonians knowing they are approaching last-chance saloon in terms of staying up. At Mannofield, Aberdeenshire host Heriot’s with the latter bringing in teenager Simon Whait.

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