In the second of this season’s Eastern Premier Division previews Gary Heatly looks ahead to Saturday’s matches…
Whenever a player joins a new club they always want to try and make an instant impact – and that is exactly what Gareth Weatherall and Leighton Collins did in the Eastern Premier Division last weekend.
Seamer Weatherall, 26, took 4-13, including a hat-trick, in Watsonians comfortable opening day victory over Stewart’s Melville at Inverleith while spinner Collins also took four wickets at Peoples Park as Stoneywood Dyce saw off Meigle with plenty to spare.
This Saturday, Weatherall’s Watsonians will be taking on Edinburgh rivals Carlton at Myreside and the Welshman who has previously played most of his cricket at St Fagans CC in Cardiff, said: “I moved up to Edinburgh in late 2019 for work [with Deloitte], but I didn’t really get involved in cricket last summer as I was settling into a new area alongside the lockdowns and suchlike.
“This year I was keen to get into my cricket a bit more so I got involved regularly with Watsonians in training and then in the pre-season games and I loved it, there is a great atmosphere at the club.
“Last weekend our batters played really well, especially Andrew Chalmers and Parker Neame, to get us up to a good total and then the bowlers put the opposition under pressure.
“I just wanted to get a good first spell of bowling under my belt in the league, so to end up taking a hat-trick and contribute to a solid team win was a nice feeling.
“Now we want to build on that result, but we know that Carlton are a good team and it should be a hard fought match.”
Watsonians make just one change to their XI with Ben Jones coming in for his league debut as Mike Carson is unavailable.
Carlton stand-in skipper Tom Simpson has named an unchanged team.
Collins, the 43-year-old who is originally from Stroud in Gloucestershire, moved to Aberdeen in August 2020 for work with DPD in the city.
“Before this year I had played most of my cricket in and around the local area where I am from with clubs such as Stroud, Cheltenham and Hawkesbury Upton,” Collins, who has previously had a spell in the RAF, explains.
“I am so glad that I got in touch with the Stoneywood Dyce guys a few months ago because it is a really friendly club and the guys could not have welcomed be any better.
“Last Saturday Jon Grant [4-16] was swinging it round corners and causing the batters a few headaches and I was just glad to come on and play my part with my left arm spin.
“It was a good win against Meigle and then we backed it up on Sunday [Collins taking 1-30 in a Scottish Cup triumph over Falkland].
“This weekend’s league match against 2019 champions Forfarshire will be a good test for us to see where we are at.”
For their home match with ion8 Forfarshire, Lennard Bester comes in for Stuart Lister and Andrew Maclaren comes in for Andrew Rayne for Stoneywood Dyce.
Scott Cameron’s Forfs also won two games last weekend, so it will be an interesting clash.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Arbroath and Meigle will meet at Lochlands with both looking for their first league wins of 2021.
Arbroath are boosted by the return of Ross McLean who has been living in Bristol for the last two years while Marcus Harvey and Murray Scott join the visiting XI.
Hayes van der Berg, who will skipper Heriot’s, Peter Ross and Durness Mackay-Champion come into their side for the Goldenacre meeting with Stewart’s Melville.
Stew Mel had a poor weekend last time out, their league defeat by ‘Sonians being followed up by a Scottish Cup loss at Arbroath, so Steven Parker’s men will be looking to gain some momentum.
Tommy Luke, David Noble and Callum Dowie come into the RH Corstorphine side to replace Nick Murray, Christian Newman and Kevin Meier this week.
They are taking on an Gen!us Grange side who have Tom Mackintosh and Stuart Davidson coming in for Gordon Goudie and Dylan Davidson for the Barton clash.
Gareth Weatherall is pictured bowling last weekend by Graham Gaw
The Cricket Scotland Podcast will include a round-up of the men’s and women’s league action from across the country every Tuesday, with player interviews from our featured games. Follow @ScotlandPod on Twitter for all the latest information.