Eastern Premier Cricket: Key trio boost Watsonians’ title assault

Watsonians are boosted by the return of three key players as they look to defeat Arbroath this afternoon in the Cricket Scotland Eastern Premier Division and keep their noses in front as the season reaches an exciting climax.

The Myreside men, Grange and Carlton can all still pick up the title come next Saturday night and, although the latter two have more experience of winning trophies of late, ‘Watsonians are top with just two matches to go. After last weekend’s drama - when Watsonians and Grange lost in the league and Carlton agonisingly lost in a Scottish Cup semi-final - all three clubs will be glad to concentrate on matters in hand.

Watsonians captain Stuart Chalmers is back in the starting XI today after he was unavailable last weekend against Stoneywood-Dyce. Batsman Andrew Fraser-Harris and left-arm seamer Mike Legget also return to strengthen the side against Arbroath.

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The likes of Chalmers, his namesake Ewan, Fraser-Harris and Andy Hislop know they will have to score runs with South African pro Jean Symes having returned home. The others dropping out from last week’s team are Chris Cash and Jamie Davies.

Tomorrow, Watsonians have the small matter of a Scottish Cup semi-final with Stenhousemuir to think about and the next two weekends are, indeed, the biggest in the club’s recent history.

Grange captain Neil McCallum said: “Last week against Arbroath we were cruising and then took our eye off the ball and they punished us. We had a good chat after that defeat though and we are eager to end the season on a high and do our best to regain top spot.”

Scottish Cup finalists Heriot’s are the visitors to Portgower Place with the players knowing that places in the XI for the final next Sunday are up for grabs.

Carlton need to win their last two league matches and hope other results go their way if they are to pick up their second piece of silverware of the summer.

They face Forfarshire at Grange Loan, the latter staring First Division cricket in the face for 2013.

In the north east, fourth- placed Stoneywood-Dyce take on seventh-placed Aberdeenshire at Peoples Park with both teams playing for pride.