Gary Heatly looks ahead to Saturday’s matches in the Eastern Premier Division…
If the weather plays ball, then the Heriot’s versus ion8 Forfarshire match will be the game of the day on Saturday in the Eastern Premier Division.
The ‘first against third’ clash at Goldenacre is the start of a busy couple of days for the visitors as they are also due to be playing in the National T20 finals day at Arbroath on Sunday.
And for their leg spinning all-rounder Jack Hogarth it has already been a busy – and positive – summer.
He has been in good form for the Forthill men to help them stay in the title race as they aim to defend the trophy they won in 2019 while they have already won the Caledonian T20 Cup in recent weeks.
The icing on the cake for Hogarth came when he was named in the extended 40-man Scotland squad building towards the T20 World Cup which is due to be taking place later this year.
“I was at work just cracking on with things when I started to get a few WhatsApp messages saying congratulations and things like that and I was a bit confused at first,” the 23-year-old, who has grown up playing for the Forfs and has also had two cricketing stints in Australia, said.
“Then I looked at the Cricket Scotland website and I saw my name on the 40-man list and it was a big surprise, but a very nice one.
“It shows me that all of the hard work I have been putting in has been noticed by someone and now I just have to keep my head down and keep on learning.
“I really enjoy the T20 format of the game, as a leg spinner you have to be thinking about things every ball while you can be taking a wicket one ball and then getting hit for six the next, that is what makes it exciting and a challenge.
“The next chance I will have to play in that format is on Sunday in the National T20 finals day and it would be great to help Forfarshire retain the trophy we picked up in 2019.
“In the 50-over game, we are also still in the hunt in the Eastern Premier Division and we know that a win against Heriot’s would really help us keep up the pressure on the top two.
“They are a good side with quality players throughout, but we are in good form just now and will travel to Edinburgh looking for an away win.”
Hogarth used to bowl seamers until a few years ago when then Forfarshire professional Graeme Beghin had a word with him and suggested he give leg spin a try.
He worked and worked at it in the nets and it paid off as he started bowling it in matches and in the club’s very successful 2019 campaign he was a key part of their bowling attack.
After that season a number of senior players moved on, but Scott Cameron has taken on the captaincy and young players like Hogarth, Rory Johnston and Callum Garden are enjoying playing under him and experienced players Craig Wallace and Michael Leask.
In recent weeks the team has also been boosted by the return of another experienced head in the shape of all-rounder Aman Bailwal and Hogarth said: “Having Aman back has given everyone a lift and his performances since returning have been excellent.
“The personnel in the squad may have changed since 2019, but the team and club spirit has remained the same. We just enjoy playing alongside – and for – each other and the club and we are focused on the run-in to the end of the campaign.”
Heriot’s go into Saturday’s Eastern Premier Division match on a high having edged past Gen!us Grange in their Scottish Cup semi-final last Sunday.
Carlton are in second place in the table and they make the trip across Edinburgh to take on seventh placed RH Corstorphine at Barnton.
When they met at Grange Loan earlier in the season, Shujaa Khan made an excellent 145 as Carlton triumphed by 211-runs.
Grange are in fourth spot and know that a victory up in Aberdeen against eighth placed Stoneywood Dyce is needed to keep up the pressure on the top three.
Fifth placed Watsonians host bottom of the table Meigle and Stewart’s Melville, in ninth, will be looking for their fellow capital club to do them a favour in that one.
Stew Mel could also do themselves a favour too by winning away at sixth placed Arbroath, but the latter have been in good form over the last couple of weeks, Ross McLean having hit 192 runs combined in wins over Meigle and Stoneywood Dyce.
Jack Hogarth is pictured by Graham Gaw
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