EASTERN Knights can tomorrow (Sunday) clinch the Tilney Pro50 title with a game to spare if they continue their unblemished record by beating the Highlanders at Forthill.
In truth, such is their superior net-run-rate that Stevie Gilmour’s men already have one hand on the trophy they lifted last season. Only two heavy defeats today and next weekend against the Warriors would jeopardise a successful defence.
Gilmour, though, is concentrating only on a repetition – ominously even an improvement – of the form which has seen his side cruise to four impressive wins.
The Knights coach said: “We’re looking to go through the same processes that have been working for us and also keep challenging the team to be better and individuals to keep putting in big performances with bat and ball.”
Gilmour’s batsmen may have grabbed the headlines with George Munsey averaging an astonishing 180 while Oli Hairs, with two centuries to his name, is the leading run scorer with 273.
However, the Knights also have the tournament’s highest wicket-taker in Elliot Ruthven who has twice as many victims – 14 – as his closest rival, Scott Cameron of the Highlanders.
Gilmour added: “Elliot has been very impressive, showing unbelievable control over his line and length at good pace. That in turn has brought him his rewards.”
Highlanders, who complete a weekend double-header at Cambusdoon on Monday, can still match the Knights’ points tally providing they win both their remaining games and player-coach Craig Wallace has named the same 14-man squad who have shown steady improvement throughout the tournament.
However, the Forthill-based side would also require the Western Warriors to win the final match of the tournament at Merchiston Castle School on June 2.
For their part, the Warriors will simply focus on trying to break their duck on Monday and they must do so without injured Richie Berrington whose 170no when the sides met at the same venue a fortnight ago is the highest score in the competition.
Coach Andy Tennant will also be looking for his side to win their final two games to build momentum going into the Tilney T20 Blast which gets underway in July.