Two impressive young players will lead their sides into Eastern Premier League week seven action on Saturday.
With regular skipper Jamie King having picked up an injury in the Scottish Cup last Sunday, Ewan Davidson, 22, will be captaining second placed Stoneywood Dyce away to third placed RH Corstorphine.
Davidson has played for the People’s Park club since he was five and has been in and around the first XI squad since he was 15, so he is honoured to have been asked to lead the side in Edinburgh as they look to keep up their strong start to the summer.
He has just finished studying accounting and finance at Robert Gordon’s University and said: “Having been a part of the club since I was small it is nice to be asked to captain the side this weekend in Jamie’s absence and our goal is to keep our positive start to the league campaign going at Barnton.
“Like ourselves, Corstorphine have been going well and will be a tough team to beat on their home ground, but we are feeling pretty confident just now and it shows the strength in depth that we have that even without Jamie and the unavailable Lennard Bester we still have a good XI heading to Edinburgh.
“It is all well and good looking at the table now, but we know we have to keep things up for 18 weeks and I think we have the spirit and quality around to do that.”
Davidson points to the experienced players in the squad like Jan Stander and Nikhil Ninan as great role models for the younger ones coming through the ranks.
And overseas players Du Preez Stander and Garreth Wolmarans have been excellent in 2022 so far.
“Everyone at the club also has high hopes for Jack Lambley who is coming through well and is progressing to representative squads and there is just a nice balance to things at the club at the minute,” Davidson continued.
“We are all enjoying their cricket and we are keen to kick on.”
RH Corstorphine won at Carlton last time in the league thanks to a brilliant 144 not out at Carlton by Liam Naylor.
And they are strengthened for this game by the first appearance of the season by Scotland batter George Munsey who has returned from the tour of the USA. Bobby Taylor also joins the XI.
Falkland, in ninth place, have a big game at the other end of the table away to eighth placed Stewart’s Melville.
And leading the Fife side at Inverleith will be 19-year-old Lyle Robertson.
He took over the captaincy from Adam Ferguson earlier in the summer and said: “This is the club I have grown up playing at and I had always hoped that one day I would be captain of the first XI, but it has come a bit quicker than I could have imagined.
“However, I jumped at the chance when it came along and I have a lot of experienced players around to help me out including Adam who is still playing when he is available.
“We knew it was going to be a tougher season this time around having been promoted, but as a club – and as individual players – we want to test ourselves against the best and we have shown by beating Arbroath and pushing Grange very close so far in the division that we can compete with anyone on our day.
“To go to Portgower Place and nearly win a couple of weeks ago gave us confidence and now we have to take that into this big game with Stewart’s Melville.”
Robertson and co have been boosted by the arrival of their professional Harsha Cooray in the country this week, the Sri Lankan having played for the Scroggie Park men before.
“It is great to have him back, he has such a big influence on and off the park at our club,” Robertson, who is currently working in roofing and roughcasting for Moonlight Construction and was with Scotland at the under-19 World Cup in South Africa earlier this year, adds.
“Charlie Cassell from Australia has also come in this season and has settled in really well, giving us a real seam bowling option and scoring some crucial runs.
“Stewart’s Melville are near us in the league so we know just how important this game is and we are looking forward to it.”
Leaders Heriot’s host sixth placed Carlton at Goldenacre with the former also being able to bring back some Scotland players.
Matthew Cross and Adrian Neill are in their XI while Dylan Wilson and Peter Ross, the latter fresh from a century on Thursday evening in the Masterton Trophy T20 event versus Edinburgh, also come in.
Carlton have Hugo Southwell, Umair Mohammed, Ally Evans and Harris Aslam coming into their side.
Fourth placed Gen!us Grange welcome fifth placed Forfarshire to Portgower Place.
Dylan Budge and Chris Greaves are back from Scotland action for Grange with Scott Blain, Ben Davidson and Gordon Goudie also joining their side.
Forfs scored 315, but lost to Heriot’s in week six before bouncing back in the Scottish Cup against Stoneywood Dyce on Sunday.
Lewis James and Joseph Laing are into their side for this one.
Seventh placed Watsonians host bottom side Arbroath at Myreside.
Home skipper Mike Carson scored an unbeaten century on Thursday evening in a Masterton Trophy T20 win at Linlithgow and he brings in Jacob Onyekwelu and Callum Martin for this game.
Arbroath are without Craig Cameron, Craig Ross, Marc Petrie and Blair Carnegie, so Ben Omara, Pranav Saravanan, John Salmond and Luke Hayes replace them.
Saturday, June 11’s fixtures:
Gen!us Grange v Forfarshire (Portgower Place)
RH Corstorphine v Stoneywood Dyce (Barnton)
Heriot’s v Carlton (Goldenacre)
Watsonians v Arbroath (Myreside)
Stewart’s Melville v Falkland (Inverleith)
Stoneywood Dyce’s Ewan Davidson is pictured by Graham Gaw
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