Brayden Stepien upbeat despite winless start for Stoneywood

Forfarshires Graeme Beghin needs 38 runs to reach 500. Picture: Joey Kelly
Forfarshires Graeme Beghin needs 38 runs to reach 500. Picture: Joey Kelly
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Stoneywood Dyce go into today’s away clash with Falkland still looking for their first CSL Eastern Premiership win of the season, but their young batsman Brayden Stepien is confident they can hit form soon.

The People’s Park men have lost seven out of seven league outings to date.

Last week they went down to Forfarshire in a match reduced to 30 overs a side, but teenage left hander Stepien smashed 115 to show his talents. The Australian is playing his first season abroad and despite results he is loving life at the club.

He said: “I was obviously pleased with the runs last week, but this is a team game and unless you win the game then individual feats don’t mean a lot. We have played well in a number of matches so far in patches, but for 20 overs whilst batting and 20 overs whilst bowling we have made mistakes and switched off and that has cost us in such a tight league.

“The guys know that you can’t play for 60 overs out of 100 and expect to put victories on the board, so we have been working really hard in the nets to put things right.

“We know we need to get wins soon, but there is no panic around and with over half of the season left we feel that we can get away from bottom spot.”

Jordan Squire and Michael Hood come into the Stoneywood Dyce team with George Ninan and David Kidd out.

Falkland have won just one league match to date, but they will be confident at Scroggie Park. Adam Ferguson and young Harry Waterston come into the side.

Leaders Forfarshire are at home to Heriot’s. The Forthill men are boosted by the return of former Scotland cap Matthew Parker while young Australian Nic Green steps up into the XI.

Graeme Beghin needs 38 runs to reach 500 in the league season already.

For the trip north, Heriot’s captain Keith Morton calls upon Kevin McLaren and Richard Cummine to replace Scott Robertson and Sean Weeraratna.

Watsonians are second in the table after Andy McKay’s heroics last week and for the home clash with Arbroath they have Andy Hislop replacing the unavailable Andrew Chalmers.

Arbroath have key trio Calvin Burnett, Fraser Burnett and Elton Willemse back for the Myreside meeting with Jack Waller, Craig Cameron and Ross McLean, the latter of whom is at a wedding, missing out.

Third placed Carlton welcome Aberdeenshire to Grange Loan with Arun Pillai unavailable due to a holiday. Ruairi Macpherson slots into the line-up for him with Mo Ahmed in for Omar Ahmad.

Callum Martin leads Aberdeenshire with regular skipper Chris Venske still injured.

With Calum Howard unavailable for the first XI, Rory Martin comes into the team having finished university for the summer.

Glenrothes host Mazars Grange at Gilvenbank with Alec Davies coming into the home side for Gowtham Rai.

Grange have a couple of late calls to make before finalising their XI.

In the Western Premiership, Drumpellier are at the wrong end of the table but they go into today’s basement battle with Stenhousemuir in buoyant mood.

Having created one of the upsets of the season by dumping Eastern Premier leaders Forfarshire out of the Scottish Cup, the Coatbridge side followed up with a remarkable league win at Dumfries seven days ago.

The win opened up a gap over bottom of the table Stenhousemuir and victory today would see Drumps take another significant step away from the danger zone.

Spokesman Gordon Shaw said: “A couple of wins can move you up the league quickly but the opposite is true if you lose.”

Drumpellier’s recent successes have been built on solid teamwork rather than individual heroics and Shaw added: “We have a good group of young players mixed with some experienced guys and we will develop into a good team.”

Stenhousemuir, seeking only their second win of the campaign, will hope for more heroics from South African Rushdi Jappie, who has already amassed 340 runs in seven matches.

Dumfries, bidding to bounce back from their defeat to Drumpellier, entertain leaders Ferguslie who must recover from their first loss of the season, to East 
Kilbride a week ago.

The Nunholm men have claimed the scalps of Clydesdale and Kelburne and 
victory today would complete a hat-trick of all three top teams in the league.

Clydesdale are poised in second but face a potentially tricky trip to face Prestwick who have shown they can compete with the best.

The Ayrshiremen are in high spirits following last week’s win over Uddingston, which owed most to the batting exploits of Fazal Jawad who hit 121no from 79 balls.

Another big display against the champions would see the Western Warriorsbatsman advance his claims for a Scotland call-up.

Ross Lyons has stated his case for an international return with a series of match-winning shows for East Kilbride who will today try to cement a top four place with victory over Ayr.

Skipper Hari Singh said: “We have given ourselves a chancebut I don’t think we can afford another defeat.There are no easy games.”

Kelburne remain in contention and start favouriteswhen Uddingston visit Whitehaugh.