Domestic Preview - Week 8
Cricket Media preview the eighth week of domestic action from the Eastern and Western Premier Divisions
It didn’t take Andy McKay’s remarkable nine-wicket haul for Watsonians last weekend to make Arbroath aware of his talents - because he used to play for him.
A decade on, the Lochlands brigade square up to the man in form - and skipper Marc Petrie insists they will have to be in prime shape to combat the threat of the Kiwi Test star..
The sides clash at Myreside, with McKay and Co eager to maintain the momentum from their rout of Grange and Petrie’s squad equally intent on carrying on where they left off in the victory over Carlton.
Petrie said: “The spotlight is sure to be on Andy, and no wonder.
“He will have extra incentive to do something similar again this weekend because he used to be our pro!
“He was dangerous when he was in our team 10 years ago and he is clearly still pretty lethal.
“From our point of view, we showed a lot of guts to get the result we wanted against Carlton, despite the fact we were without quite a few frontline guys.
“We will always back our younger lads to make the step up and put in a solid display, and that is what happened.”
Petrie welcomes back the Burnett brothers and Elton Willemse. Craig Cameron and Jack Waller slip down to the second eleven, while vice captain Ross McLean is attending a wedding.
Fifteen year old Darryl Sinclair is retained after impressing on his debut.
Reflecting on his astonishing return of nine for nine, McKay said: “It was just one of those days when everything clicked and went my way.
“I am enjoying life at Sonians - they are a great bunch and I have been enjoying helping out with coaching the young bowlers at the club.”
Pacesetters Forfarshire will be fancied to keep up their fine run at the expense of inconsistent Heriot’s at Forthill.
Shire will be boosted by the comeback of Matty Parker and Aussie amateur Nic Green takes the place of Aman Bailwal.
And Falkland should be strong enough to ease their basement jitters by getting the upper hand against Stoneywood-Dyce, who are still looking for their first success of a dismal campaign.
Glenrothes who were craving quickfire revenge for their Scottish Cup thumping at the hands of champions Grange, will have to wait as their match at Gilvenbank has been called off due to a waterlogged ground.
Finally, Carlton ought to bounce back from their defeat at Arbroath by taking the win points from struggling Aberdeenshire in the capital.
DRUMPELLIER may be sitting at the wrong end of the table but the Langloan side go into today’s basement battle with Stenhousemuir in buoyant mood.
Having created one of the upsets of the season by dumping Eastern Premier leaders Forfarshire out of the Scottish Cup a fortnight ago, the Coatbridge side followed up with a remarkable league win at Dumfries seven days ago.
They looked out of it after limping to 114 but fought back to dismiss Dumfries for just 89.
The win opened up a gap over bottom of the table Stenhousemuir and victory today would see Drumps take another significant step away from the danger zone.
Spokesman Gordon Shaw said: “The league is so tightly grouped that a couple of wins can move you up the league quickly but the opposite is true if you lose.
“We’re just looking for a bit of consistency and want to keep the momentum going after excellent wins against Forfarshire and Dumfries.”
Drumpellier’s recent successes have been built on solid teamwork rather than individual heroics and Shaw added: “We have a good group of young players mixed with some experienced guys and given time we will develop into a good team.
“The more wins we get under our belt the more confidence the younger guys will get.”
Stenhousemuir, seeking only their second win of the campaign, will hope for another major contribution from South African Rushdi Jappie who has already amassed 340 runs in seven matches.
Dumfries, bidding to bounce back from their defeat to Drumpellier, entertain leaders Ferguslie who themselves must recover from their first loss of the season, having gone down to East Kilbride a week ago.
The Nunholm men have already claimed a couple of significant scalps on their home patch in Clydesdale and Kelburne and victory today would complete a significant hat-trick of all three top teams in the league.
However, Ferguslie will refuse to press the panic button after a defeat which owed most to the individual brilliance of Ross Lyons while some key decisions also went against the leaders.
The Paisley side draft in John Allan for James Cook.
Clydesdale are poised menacingly in second but the Titwood side face a potentially tricky trip to face Prestwick who have shown they can compete with the best.
Dale skipper Majid Haq, taking nothing for granted, said: “It’s going to be a very tough fixture against a Prestwick side who are in good form individually and as a team.
“We will need to be at our best.”
Akram Shakoor returns for the Titwood side in place of Ahmad Chaudhry.
Prewtick, meanwhile, are in high spirits following last week’s win over Uddingston, a result which owed most to the batting exploits of Fazal Jawad who hit an astonishing 121no from only 79 deliveries.
Another big display against the champions would see the Western Warriors batsman advance his claims for a Scotland call-up.
The aforementioned Lyons has stated his case for an international return impressively with a series of match-winning shows for East Kilbride who will today attempt to cement a top four place with victory over Ayr.
Torrance House skipper Hari Singh said: “We have given ourselves a chance but I don’t think we can afford another defeat and there are no easy games.”
Kelburne, for whom Ryan Morrow was in devastating form with the ball in last week’s win over Ayr, remain firmly in contention and they start favourites when Uddingston visit Whitehaugh.
Dougie Wylie returns for Kelburne but Matt McMillan is missing.