Gary Heatly looks ahead to the second last Saturday of Eastern Premier Division action for 2021…
Heriot’s know that a victory on Saturday at home to Arbroath can clinch them the Eastern Premier Division cricket title just six days after they lifted the Scottish Cup trophy.
There are two rounds of games left in the top flight and with last week’s games all falling foul of the weather it means that a victory for the Goldenacre men would put them too far out in front to be caught.
However, with fifth placed Arbroath in a good run of recent form and third placed Gen!us Grange still to come for Heriot’s on September 4, they will be taking nothing for granted after a summer of twists and turns.
When Heriot’s last won the league title in 2017 Keith Morton was the skipper, but now Scotland cap Mark Watt is the man at the helm.
And the only change to the XI from the one that defeated Watsonians last Sunday in Ayr to give them Cup glory, is Durness Mackay-Champion in for Morton.
When Heriot’s headed up to Arbroath to play the Lochlands men earlier in the season, the capital outfit’s batters put the game out of reach for Marc Petrie’s men.
Matthew Cross carried his bat, finishing on a club record 200 not out – with Hayes van der Berg making 116 – and those runs meant that Heriot’s posted 344-3 from their 50 overs which was always going to be very hard to chase for Arbroath.
The hosts were bowled out for 181 in reply, but, as mentioned, they have been on a good run recently.
Apart from a loss at Carlton, of late they have seen off the likes of Meigle, Stoneywood Dyce, Stewart’s Melville and Watsonians while in players such as Matthew Parker and Ross McLean they have some dangers.
And, of course, there are a number of players still in the visiting ranks who remember Heriot’s sneaking ahead of them on the final day of the 2017 summer to clinch the title, so it certainly will not be an easy game for the hosts.
If Heriot’s do not win then second placed Carlton will be keen to keep up the pressure by defeating fourth placed ion8 Forfarshire.
It was an impressive away win at Forfs that really got Carlton’s title charge up and running back in late June, so Ali Evans and his men will be looking for that sort of performance again.
Grange are at home to ninth placed Meigle and a win for the Portgower Place men could do bottom of the table Stew Mel a favour.
Stew Mel are at home to seventh placed RH Corstorphine and then play Meigle on the final day and they will be desperate to avoid 10th place and potential relegation.
Sixth placed Watsonians are at home to eighth placed Stoneywood Dyce with the latter keen to get a positive result to secure their place in the division heading into 2022.
Heriot’s captain Mark Watt – pictured by Graham Gaw – is looking to complete the double on Saturday
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