Championship: East Kilbride prove worth with all-round effort

They're here to stay. Newcomers East Kilbride, far from merely consolidating in their first SNCL season, have already intimated their serious championship intent where it matters most - on the park.

Riding high in second slot after four victories from five completed matches, and further energised by last Sunday's historic eclipse of Premiership Forfarshire, the Torrance House men can point to the batting of Hari Singh and Shiraz Khalid, the bowling of Umair Saeed and Ross Lyons and Craig Smith's virtuoso wicketkeeping as instrumental in their success. But primarily it's been a genuine all-round team effort which has taken them this far.

"Yes, our mood is understandably very upbeat, but we're taking nothing for granted," stressed club spokesman David Healy. "We realise success has to be fought for, and there's no room for complacency." East Kilbride will revive memories of earlier, humbler days when they travel to a fourth-placed Renfrew, who bring back Abdul Shakoor for Ghulam Rabbani, and look to build on last week's 108-run rout of Weirs and a good performance against Premiership Carlton in Sunday's Scottish Cup. "We expect a very tough challenge from EK," acknowledges veteran seamer Sai Majeed. "But we have home advantage, and fancy our chances if we play to our strengths." It promises to be an intriguing tussle.

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Prolific professional Kruger van Wyk again holds the key for table-topping West Lothian, who travel to Inverleith aiming to maintain their status as the league's only unbeaten side.

The New Zealand-domiciled South African has now scored 314 league runs without being dismissed, and last week showed his further prowess with the ball, grabbing five Edinburgh Accies wickets for just 14 runs.

Opponents SMRH, bitterly disappointed not to chase down Stenhousemuir's 115 last weekend, bring in Jonny Brock for Chris Bissett.

"We batted really well on Sunday against Uddingston in the Cup," points out skipper Greg Bissett. "So we've obviously not forgotten how to do it."

Third-placed Dumfries, who recall Chris McCutcheon and Davie Davidson for young Niall Alexander and unavailable captain Stuart Corbett-Byers, welcome Stenhousemuir to Nunholm, remarkably for the first time.

They'll face an upbeat Stenny side galvanised by South African duo Rushdie Jappie and Ranwill Claassen and gnarled veteran Ian Philip, and much boosted by last week's fighting defence of a low total, highlighted by pro Jappie's dismissal of SMRH opposite number George Worker with the first ball of his first-ever over at The Tryst.Falkland, encouraged by two wins last weekend, bring in Michael Cachia for Geordie Gallacher to bolster the batting for the visit of a youthful RH Corstorphine side who take their complement of U17 players to three, seamer Jo Kinghorn-Gray joining Ozy Malik and Kev Meier.

Ferguslie, still without a pro, but with skipper Stuart Kennedy back after minor surgery, welcome to Meikleriggs an unchanged Poloc side eager to make swift amends after two disappointingly insipid losses last weekend.

Elsewhere, underperforming Edinburgh Accies are desperate to get back on track on their trip west to Weirs, whilst third-bottom Freuchie host bottom-of-the-table Penicuik.