CSL Premier Preview - Week 10

03 Aug

From Cricket Media

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Western Premier


Ayr, languishing near the foot of the table, may hope that Clydesdale have one eye on tomorrow’s Scottish Cup semi-final clash at Carlton. The home side will doubtless be pleased that Dale are without their captain Majid Haq who claimed a seven-wicket haul in last week’s win over Renfrew. However, Ayr are also without their skipper Andi McElnea who is performing technical analyst duties for Scotland U19s at the World Cup qualifier in Holland.   

Prediction: Away win



Defeat to Uddingston was a hammer blow to Drumpellier’s title ambitions but no-one in the Coatbridge ranks is throwing in the towel just yet. They will, though, face a tough test against a Stirling side who, despite failing to record a single win, are scrapping for survival. Visiting skipper Graeme Taylor said: “We know the games are beginning to run out and we need to start throwing everything we have at teams. I have great belief in the lads and if all aspects of our game click we have a good chance of turning things around.” Both sides lose players to the U19s, Abdul Sabri missing for the hosts while Nick Farrar is absent from the Stirling side. The visitors are also without the injured Ian Shaw but Matthew Tweedie returns.

Prediction: Home win



Bryan Clarke, the visiting captain, is taking nothing for granted despite his side opening up a sizeable gap at the top of the table. “It’s one game at a time for us,” said Clarke in a bid to play down inevitable title talk. Clarke knows to expect a tough encounter against a West side who can compete with the best on their day. Top order batsman Andrew Umeed is again absent from the West line-up while Calum MacLeod, on a Saltires duty, is a big miss for Uddy.

Prediction: Away win



Sai Majeed, the Renfrew captain, may well be targeting this as one of the games he believes his side can win to put their top flight status beyond doubt. Majeed’s men probably need just one more victory to lengthen their stay in the premier division and if it comes today they could move to within two points of the outgoing champions. Renfrew will be on the usual lines but Dumfries are without teenage bowler Niall Alexander who is with the national U19s.

Prediction: Home win


Eastern Premier


Grange are one of four Eastern Premier sides who still harbour hopes of doing the league and cup double and must win today’s derby and tomorrow’s semi-final against Arbroath to keep these dreams alive. Last week’s win against Carlton rekindled their championship aspirations and the Portgower Place side start favourites against a Watsonian outfit who, despite improved form of late, have no chance to successfully defending their title. Grange are without Gordon Goudie and Will Edwards who are on representative duty, while ‘Sonians skipper Ewan Chalmers is travelling south with the Saltires.

Prediction: Home win



Like Grange, Carlton can do the double though skipper Preston Mommsen believes crucial domestic fixtures are being undermined by the absence of Scotland representative players. Mommsen himself and Hamish Gardiner are on Saltires duty while Chayank Gosain and Kyle Stirling are with the U19s in Holland. While many sides are equally disadvantaged in terms of missing key players for league fixtures, Mommsen said: “I think something needs to be addressed re the cup schedule. What’s the point of going through all the early stages only to make the last four and not have your full team available?” However, the Carlton and Saltires captain added: “I do still believe we are capable of pulling off two crucial victories this weekend.”

Despite the absence of key Carlton players Aberdeenshire captain Tyler Buchan is wary. “Having their Scotland players away will be a big miss for them but it may just galvanise their team to work even harder without them. They are used to dealing with it and we are not expecting an easy time.”

Mommsen believes experienced campaigners like Gordon Drummond, Fraser Watts and Rob Thornton have a vital role to play. The Dons have Callum and Rory Martin unavailable but Ryan West and Mark Assiter come in.    

Prediction: Home



Survival is the name of the game for SMRH who have run several teams close during their first season in the top flight without managing to add to their solitary win against fellow strugglers Stoneywood-Dyce. They may not enjoy the memory of their first meeting with Heriot’s when they conceded a massive 328 run but player-coach Cedric English remains confident his side can pull off bottom spot. Heriot’s are without their talented young Scotland U19 spinner Mark Watts.

Prediction: Home win



Like SMRH, Stoneywood-Dyce have managed just one win all season and are just four points above their relegation rivals. They entertain the final side who still have double dreams and Arbroath, who visit Grange tomorrow, were too strong for the PeoplesPark side in their recent Scottish Cup quarter-final. The visitors are without Saltires all-rounder Calvin Burnett and Scotland U19 captain Ross McLean but the hosts are disadvantaged by the loss of Michael Leask.

Prediction: Away win

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