Cricket: Gordonians look to upset odds

Gordonians face a Glenrothes side featuring Chris Greaves, above, who has been in fine form this season
Gordonians face a Glenrothes side featuring Chris Greaves, above, who has been in fine form this season
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ARROWDAWN Gordonians are looking to cause a shock against Glenrothes in the CSL Eastern Premiership play-off match this afternoon and complete a very successful week for the club.

Last Sunday the Aberdeen-based outfit defeated Kilmarnock in Stirling to lift the Cricket Scotland Challenge Cup and leave their players and supporters on a high ahead of today’s encounter at Freuchie.

Gordonians have reached this play-off match – the winners of which will play in the top flight in the East in 2016 – due to a good season in the Strathmore & Perthshire Union N-E Championship.

They won nine league matches out of 12 to finish second to Autoecosse Forthill, but the latter are not eligible for the play-off because they are a second XI.

Gordonians will go into this one-off match as underdogs given that Glenrothes have just completed an unbeaten season in the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship.

However, the players – led by skipper Swapnil Rane – are excited about the match and Gordonians president Andy Lowden, in his 39th season with the club as player and administrator, said: “It’s great to be flying the flag for Aberdeen in these regional and national competitions.

“We like to play the game with a smile and hope this home town success will encourage more local youngsters from our main feeder school, Robert Gordon’s College, and other schools to get involved in the game.

“Glenrothes are a good club who have been in good form, but the guys are looking forward to testing themselves.”

Robbie Wright’s Glenrothes side won 16 out of 16 in their league this summer and will be determined to make it into the top flight. Leading the charge for the Fifers will be Chris Greaves, who has scored over 1,000 runs in recent months, and pro Rizwan Akbar, who has taken 50 wickets this term.

Elsewhere, the curtain comes down on the Western Union season today and already all the major issues are settled.

Unlike the Eastern Premiership which reached a nail-biting conclusion a week ago, events in the west have been a little more clear-cut with Clydesdale having displayed the mark of champions for much of the campaign while at the other end of the table the fate of West of Scotland and Renfrew has looked just as inevitable.

However, if there is little to play for in some quarters, that is certainly not the case for the champions who are determined to end their campaign on a high while preparing for next week’s Grand Final against Grange, the Eastern Premiership winners.

The Titwood side host Dumfries who are unlikely to ease off either since victory could see them force their way into the top four.

Dale skipper Majid Haq, whose side have lost only once in clinching their first league title for ten years, is determined to maintain momentum.

“The Grange game is something we can look forward to but first we want to finish the Union season strongly,” said Haq. “The guys have set standards that we want to maintain.”

Kelburne can cap an outstanding first season in the top flight by clinching second place. To be sure of making that lofty berth their own they must beat outgoing champions Ayr who are destined to finish in the bottom half of the table, the highlight of their season having been the sensational batting performances of Lenert van Wyk.

The South African has amassed 761 runs and his 163 against Drumpellier last Sunday was the highest individual score of the season. That effort wasn’t enough to win the game as Louis Venter’s 123 proved crucial for Drumpellier who will bid to end their season by beating an East Kilbride team who are set for a second consecutive top-four finish.

The top four also beckons for Ferguslie who face West of Scotland at Hamilton Crescent, while Renfrew’s top flight stay comes to an end with a visit to Uddingston.