The league match with SMRH at Inverleith has been brought forward to Sunday from the final day of the season, 31 August, due to the Capital ground being unavailable then. Once Aberdeenshire reached the T20 finals day, billed as one of the big days of the club summer, it was expected that the league match could be moved again or another ground found for 31 August.
However, this has not been possible, with Cricket Scotland confirming yesterday that Aberdeenshire must play the match. To the onlooker, this would seem to devalue both the league and the T20 competition with ‘Shire set to send a weakened team to Poloc as they still have CSL Eastern Premier Division title aspirations. Skipper Tyler Buchan said: “It is a far from ideal situation, to be honest, and it is a shame that we will probably have to send a weakened team to a national finals day, but that is the way it looks like being.”
Third-placed Aberdeenshire know that two wins, against Watsonians today and SMRH tomorrow, are needed to keep up their title challenge.
For today’s match at Myreside, Tony McKenna is injured, while captain Ewan Chalmers and Dewald Nel return for the hosts.
Leaders Arbroath name an unchanged side as they head to SMRH today, with the hosts bringing back in brothers Greg Bissett and Chris Bissett.
Second-placed Carlton are without skipper Preston Mommsen through injury and Rory McCann is unavailable as they travel to Heriot’s. They are boosted by the inclusion of former county player Toby Bailey, though, while Heriot’s have Craig Adams back in place of Ali Farooq.
Bottom side Stoneywood-Dyce welcome back Stuart Coetzer as they prepare to travel to Barclays Grange knowing a win is needed to boost their ailing survival hopes.
Defeat at relegation rivals SMRH seven days ago left them in eighth place with three games left. Coetzer began the season as captain, but work commitments have seen him pass over the reins to Michael Leask in recent weeks. The latter is delighted the former is available and said: “We travel to Edinburgh at just about full strength and we know that we have to stand up and be counted over the next three weeks.”
Grange are without captain Neil McCallum while Tom Sole drops out, Gregor Maiden and Zander Muir coming in.