Over the course of the 2014 season I will be writing a regular column for the Cricket Scotland website on all the goings on in the Baillie Gifford East Leagues below the Championship.
With nine divisions there is always plenty going on amongst the clubs and I hope you will find it interesting.
The first five weeks
In the top flight - Baillie Gifford East One - Edinburgh got themselves off to a flying start winning their first four completed matches.
In week one Umair Farooq scored a crucial unbeaten 53 not out to help lead Edinburgh to a win over Marchmont.
At Cavalry Park Marchmont batted first and could only post 118 all out, Will Collier leading the way with 44. Three Edinburgh bowlers took two wickets apiece.
In reply Edinburgh lost two early wickets with Phil Rees and Pete Maksimczyk taking scalps for the hosts, but Farooq’s half century and 40 from opener Kashif Hussain saw them home by seven wickets in the end.
Most other local clubs in that division saw their first matches blighted by the weather.
In week two Farooq continued his great start to the campaign to help Edinburgh defeat Dunfermline with ease.
Batting first Edinburgh posted a daunting 275-8, Farooq leading the way with 57. Abdul Majeed also made 57 and in reply they bowled Dunfermline out for 165 as Edinburgh won by 110-runs.
Hemant Verma took five wickets as Musselburgh bowled out St Boswells for just 67. The East Lothian men then knocked off the runs required to win by six wickets.
Aaron Sardesai scored an unbeaten century and Corne Van Jaarsveld took five wickets as Marchmont defeated Watsonians II.
Sardesai, a prolific runs scorer at this level, led the way with 105 not out with captain for the day Pete Maksimczyk giving good support with 62 not out as they posted a decent looking 222-5 batting first.
In reply the home side were undone by Van Jaarsveld as he took 5-37 and ‘Sonians II were 144 all out.
Week three was washed out and on week four Edinburgh defeated Heriot’s in a high scoring match.
Tom Speller was the star man as Edinburgh Accies defeated Watsonians II at Craiglockhart.
In a match reduced to 40-overs per side due to a 2pm start the visitors batted first and Speller led the way with 47 as they posted 205. Cameron De Hann also chipped in with 34.
In reply ‘Sonians made 149 all out, Speller grabbing four wickets as Accies won by 56-runs.
Marchmont’s decent start to the season continued with a win at Musselburgh, 74 not out from the in-form Sardesai helping them chase down 165 to win by four wickets.
And in week five Edinburgh defeated Watsonians II to stay top while Kevin Dilly was on top form with the ball, taking four wickets as Musselburgh defeated Dunfermline.
The East Lothian side bowled first at McKane Park after the hosts won the toss and opening bowlers Rene Collins and John Robertson both took two wickets apiece.
Dilly then took over and took 4-7 from 3.5 overs to rip through the Fifers’ middle order and in the end Dunfermline were 72 all out.
The same man then saw them home in their batting reply, his 19 not out helping them to win by five wickets.
Edinburgh Accies beat Largo at Newfield.
Batting first the visitors were bowled out for 94 with Richard White taking five wickets for the Capital outfit.
Teenager Coinneach Carmichael then scored 60 not out to show his promise as Accies won easily by eight wickets.
At Goldenacre Craig Adams took three wickets as Heriot’s II bowled Gala out for 155.
Colin Thomson then scored 63 and Kevin McLaren 49 not out as they home side won by six wickets.
In East Two Dunnikier won their first four completed matches with Kelso breathing down their necks with three from three.
Falkland II won their first five in East Three, although in week five they were pushed hard by Morton.
Having bowled Morton out for 133 the Fifers then made their victory target with just one wicket remaining.
Mazars Grange II and RH Corstorphine II had good starts in East Four although a number of clubs have been hit by the weather in early weeks.
Glenrothes II (East Five), Old Contemptibles and Tranent (East Six), Glenrothes III (East Eight), Glenrothes IV and Tranent III (East Nine) were also unbeaten after completed matches in the first five weeks.
Well done Tranent!
Recently Tranent were named club of the month by The Cricketer magazine and it is just reward for a club that has been built up in recent years thanks to hard work by a number of volunteers.
The award by the well-known magazine was a big boost for the East Lothian outfit who are only in their fourth season, but already have three XIs in the East Leagues, regular social XIs and an ever-growing junior set-up. They have also worked hard with other local sports clubs to make sure they could play their matches at Meadowmill this summer.
Exciting times indeed!
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