Clubs welcome heroes back to domestic duty

Safyaan Sharif returns to captain Glenrothes. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS
Safyaan Sharif returns to captain Glenrothes. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS
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Five of the Scotland team who defeated England in the recent One Day International
return to action for their respective clubs as the CSL Eastern Premier Division reaches the halfway stage this afternoon.

George Munsey (Watsonians), Dylan Budge (Mazars Grange), Michael Leask (Forfarshire), Safyaan Sharif (Glenrothes) and Ali Evans (Carlton) all started that famous six-run win in Edinburgh 13 days ago.

They were all also involved earlier this week as Scotland won a T20 Tri-nations series in the Netherlands.

Budge is with leaders Grange, who will hand a league debut to Freddie Peat as they head to Stewart’s Melville. Skipper Greg Ruthven is unavailable for the hosts so Steven Parker takes the armband.

Second-placed Heriot’s host Arbroath. With Peter Ross unavailable for the Goldenacre clash, Chris Ashforth is added to the home team. Ross McLean will captain Arbroath in the absence of new father Marc Petrie.

Third-placed Forfarshire have Leask and Scotland squad man Craig Wallace returning as they host bottom side Glenrothes.

Sharif, the man who took the clinching wicket against England, is back to captain the Fifers at Forthill, with Kenny Crichton also coming in.

RH Corstorphine, in fourth place, include Sam Flett, Richard McCorkell and Ally Sadler for their home clash with Carlton, who are without Rory McCann and 
Fraser Boyd but welcome back captain Evans for the trip to East Barnton Avenue.

Aberdeenshire are fifth and their visitors to Mannofield are strugglers Watsonians.

The hosts will make a late call on their XI while the in-form Munsey’s runs will be key if Watsonians are to get away from the bottom spots in the table.

In the west, meanwhile, Prestwick players will pay tribute to Johnny Hubbard before their Premier Division clash with leaders Ferguslie at Meikleriggs.

Hubbard, pictured left, who died during the week, was better known as the “Penalty King” of Rangers, but he also enjoyed a long and distinguished cricketing career with the Ayrshire club.

“The boys have still to decide whether it will be black armbands or a minute’s silence or both but they 
will certainly remember Johnny,” said Andy Tennant, a former team-mate and now Prestwick’s coach.

“He will be sorely missed at the club and I have my own special memories of him.

“Enjoyment and belief 
were the things he kept emphasising and he led by example, always playing with a smile on his face. But he was also a really tough competitor and an inspirational 
figure.”

Ferguslie know victory
today will see them take another important step towards winning the title and they welcome back Hamza Tahir from Scotland duty. Greg Cameron also returns for the leaders but Prestwick are without in-form batsman Fraser Macdonald.

Elsewhere, Poloc and Greenock are both bidding for a third consecutive win when they clash at Shawholm, Ayr host Dumfries, while West of Scotland travel to Stirling.

Uddingston, boosted by beating champions Prestwick a week ago, host second-placed Clydesdale, who welcome back Scotland star Richie Berrington.