Big day of cricket in the CSL East and West

22 Aug

Double? What double? 

That will be the approach of skipper Marc Petrie when Arbroath go into battle with Watsonians today, knowing a win will enable them to regain the Eastern Premiership crown.

And Petrie stressed that there will be no mention of tomorrow’s Scottish Cup Final showdown with league title rivals Grange, until the action at Myreside is done and dusted.

Should Arbroath slip up in the capital this afternoon, the honours will go to Grange - if they overcome neighbours Heriot’s at Raeburn Place, and on current form, they will be expected to do just that.

Petrie shrugged off the notion that his troops will be clear-cut favourites against Sonians.

He pointed out: “There is great excitement in the club and the town about what could happen this weekend.

“But for time being, the focus of the players is firmly trained on the league game and we will be treating it just like any match during the season.

“We know it will be tough against a team who are on a bit of a roll at the moment, especially the Chalmers brothers, who are in great form.

“I have played often enough with and against Ewan Chalmers to know that he is capable of playing match-winning knocks. 

“We must make sure we are on top of our own game to come away with the win.”

Petrie added: “Whatever the outcome at Myreside, the Cup Final at Stirling will be a fantastic occasion for us.

“It is the first time we have been to the final since 1993, when we lost to Grange, so that is a good incentive to us. 

“We have filled three 50-seater buses and many other fans will be making their own way to New Williamfield - so we want to send them all home with something to cheer about. 

“I’m sure this will be an enjoyable encounter but we must make sure we perform to our best to get a win and carry on all the momentum we have built up over the season.”

Elsewhere in the Premiership, basement boys RH Corstorphine have a last chance to break their duck when they take on Falkland at Scroggie Park.

And newly-crowned Scottish T20 champions Forfarshire square up to Carlton at Forthill.

Northern pride will be at stake as Aberdeenshire host Stoneywood-Dyce.

THEY may only require a fraction of a point to clinch their first Western Union title since league reconstruction four years ago but Clydesdale will take nothing for granted when they head to King George V Playing Fields to face Renfrew this afternoon.

Having lost only once all season, Majid Haq’s team will be worthy winners when the sums finally add up.

However, they are determined to complete the job in style and will not ease up against a Renfrew team who still have a mathematical chance of avoiding relegation. 

For that to happen Sai Majeed’s team would have to beat Clydesdale today and Uddingston next week while hoping that Drumpellier lose all three of their outstanding matches.

Colin Mitchell, the Clydesdale team manager, sounded a note of caution when he said: “The players knew after last week’s win at Ayr that the title was just about in the bag but there were no tangible signs of celebration.

“I think everyone is aware that until the trophy is actually in our hands there is still work to be done.

“It is the right attitude and that’s the way the players will be looking at things going into the Renfrew game.

“It is vital that we don’t do anything differently – that’s the way it has been in training this week and I’m sure it’s how it will be against Renfrew.

“There are standards to maintain and the guys are determined to do that. It’s nice to have things in our own hands because we’ve come close in recent seasons and fallen just short.

“We won’t take our foot off the gas.”

Haq, who has led from the front all season and boasts the best economy rate and best average of any bowler in the Union, will be bidding to add to his 21 scalps for the season.

However, the champions-elect are without their leading wicket-taker Con de Lange, who is injured, his place going to fellow left-arm spinner Mo Ali.

Elsewhere, the battle for second place will be joined at Torrance House where East Kilbride, the only side with a theoretical chance of overtaking Clydesdale, entertain Kelburne.

Ferguslie, too, are in the frame for runners-up spot and can enhance their chances by beating a Drumpellier team who are also on duty tomorrow in a re-arranged fixture at Ayr.

Ayr also have home advantage today when Uddingston head to Alloway for a clash between the champions of 2014 and 2013.

Dumfries, who could still force their way into the top four, entertain a West of Scotland side who are already building for the future after their relegation was confirmed last week.

View other news from August 2015

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