Cricket: Grange hold advantage as title race goes down to wire
Grange and Watsonians both head into their matches this afternoon knowing that they could be crowned Cricket Scotland Eastern Premier Division champions tonight.
The trophy will either be presented to Grange skipper Neil McCallum at Grange Loan after their match with Carlton or to Watsonians captain Stuart Chalmers after they take on Aberdeenshire.
On what is set to be a nail-biting last day, Grange hold the advantage, being top after they managed to complete a rain-affected win over Heriot’s seven days ago when ‘Sonians were thwarted by the weather.
However, a trip to face old adversaries Carlton is never easy, especially with all of their Scotland contingent available, and no one knows that better than McCallum.
He said: “We have had some great tussles with Carlton over the last few years and I expect this one to be no different. They have some experienced and quality performers, but so do we and it should be a good match.
“Going into the final game of the season with a chance of still winning the title is great because it has been a bit ‘stop-start’ over the last few months due to the weather and with our home ground out of action. With the CS Trophy final [against Arbroath] on Sunday too it is a big weekend for us.”
The only change from the Grange XI sees regular wicketkeeper Simon Smith return from Australia in place of Arun Prillai.
Over at Myreside, Watsonians know they need to win against Aberdeenshire to have any chance of finishing at the summit. They also have a double header weekend with the Scottish Cup final against Heriot’s tomorrow and for the two matches James Easton and Mark Yellowlees come in for Fraser Boyd (broken finger) and the unavailable Andrew Fraser-Harris.
Paddy Sadler and Craig Wright are involved – and should be fresher – after returning from Australia last Saturday and playing in the Scottish Cup semi-final 24-hours later.
Captain Chalmers said: “We just have to concentrate on ourselves and not think about what is going on at Grange Loan. If we can get a win then we will see what happens and it is a big weekend for the club. We have come a long way in recent seasons, but to get some silverware under our belts would be nice.”
The final day drama has echoes of 2010 when the same teams had a chance of winning the ‘old’ SNCL Premier Division in their last match. That time around Grange’s comfortable victory over Forfarshire was enough to see them home.
Elsewhere today Arbroath and Heriot’s warm-up for their respective finals tomorrow with a league encounter at Lochlands.
And already relegated Forfarshire will look to end things on a high during their home clash with Stoneywood-Dyce.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North