Carlton and Watsonians aim to make history

Carlton skipper Ali Evans, pictured bowling,  believes his teams tough run to the final will help them when they face Watsonians. Photograph: Toby Williams/TSPL
Carlton skipper Ali Evans, pictured bowling, believes his teams tough run to the final will help them when they face Watsonians. Photograph: Toby Williams/TSPL
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Carlton and Watsonians head into today’s Citylets Scottish Cup final with both Edinburgh clubs looking to win the trophy for the first time.

The showpiece clash between the CSL Eastern Premiership duo is due to start at noon at Tayside Group Forfarshire’s Forthill ground.

And this season the teams have been fairly evenly matched with Carlton sitting sixth in the table and Watsonians fifth before yesterday’s scheduled league meeting.

Carlton, under the leadership of Ali Evans, knew that 2017 was going to be a year of transition.

After they won the league title late last August, the likes of Steve Gilmour, Hugo Southwell and Gordon Drummond decided to step back from first team duties while influential bowler Mario Olivier returned to South Africa.

Scotland bowler Evans took over the captaincy from Gilmour while young spinner Chayank Gosain was named vice-captain.

Teenagers such as Angus Beattie and Tom Simpson have had more first team exposure this summer while Michael Herdman, the Australian all-rounder, has returned for a second spell at Grange Loan.

League form has been up and down, but the team have shown what they are capable of at times, for example 60 from under-19 cap Beattie helping them to a win at old rivals Mazars Grange back in July.

One consistent performer has certainly been Herdman, the 25-year-old topping the CSL Eastern Premiership batting table with 637 runs before this weekend. He also had 20 league wickets and in the semi-final of the cup he was the star with a century to help defeat a dogged Drumpellier side.

He will be key to the outcome this afternoon along with former Scotland batsman Fraser Watts while Evans has been bowling well of late and his fellow seamer Cameron Shoebridge is a talent.

Evans said: “It’s always a great day when you get to any final and playing in a derby is an exciting prospect. It’s been a tough run to get here, but now we can go and enjoy the occasion.”

Watsonians go into the match having already won the Murgitroyd Masterton T20 event this summer. In this cup they defeated Heriot’s away in the last four, Scotland batsman George Munsey the man of the match that day with an impressive 120 in tough conditions.

Left hander Munsey, 24, has been a good addition to the Sonians ranks this season and he hit the highest score of the summer back in June with 220 against Falkland in the league. In the batting ranks he is well supported by captain Ewan Chalmers, Mike Carson and others while experienced seam bowlers Andy McKay and Dewald Nel will have their part to play.

They took three wickets between them in the semi while in the league before the weekend they had 25 and 19 scalps respectively.

Chalmers said: The guys are all very excited and we’ve been training hard to make the day a success. We’ve had some good battles with Carlton in recent years and I’m sure the Cup final will be no different.”