Eastern Premier: Aberdeenshire on the brink

MARK Assiter and teenager Ryan West are added to the Aberdeenshire side as they head to Carlton today looking for their fourth CSL Eastern Premier Division victory on the spin.

The men from Mannofield’s good run has seen wins clocked up against SMRH, Barclays Grange and Stoneywood-Dyce since a loss to Heriot’s back in June. And it has put them in third place as we enter the final month of the campaign, hot on the heels of leaders Arbroath and second placed Carlton.

With the Martin brothers Callum and Rory unavailable due to family commitments it gives 22-year-old leg spinner Assister and 16-year-old seamer West the chance to step up at Grange Loan this afternoon. Aberdeenshire captain Tyler Buchan said: “I have been pleased with our league form of late and having gone out of the cup all of our focus is on this division for the next few weeks.

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“It is pleasing to be able to name a side with only two changes in it for the trip to Edinburgh, both players more than capable of stepping up to first XI cricket.”

When the two sides met at Mannofield back in May Carlton looked to be on track for victory when their bowlers restricted the hosts to 159-8. That was until the ‘Shire attack excelled to bowl Carlton out for 113, West getting the wicket of ex-Scotland skipper Gordon Drummond that day. As mentioned by Buchan, Carlton are missing a few player – captain Preston Mommsen and Hamish Gardiner are on Saltires duty and Kyle Stirling and Cheeky Gosain are with the under-19s in Holland. As a result Fraser Watts will captain the side while amongst those called-up are the experienced Rob Thornton and teenagers Ruari Macpherson and Ali Shah.

Arbroath bounced back to form with a crushing defeat of Heriot’s seven days ago and they bring in Blair Carnegie and Ryan Cameron today for Calvin Burnett and Ross McLean who are on representative duty.

They are away to second bottom Stoneywood/Dyce. Grange, who are fourth, host Watsonians at Portgower Place.

The home team have a number of players unavailable with Gordon Goudie (Salties), Simon Smith (Saltires coaching staff) and under-19 duo Zander Muir and Will Edwards all away.

Heriot’s travel to bottom side SMRH with captain Steve Knox returning at Inverleith while Duncan Anderson also comes in for the visitors.