Gary Heatly looks ahead to a double helping of weekend matches in the Eastern Premier Division…
The Davidson name has been synonymous with Gen!us Grange for many years – and ahead of a double helping of Eastern Premier Division action this weekend Ben Davidson is making sure that remains the case.
From 1995 until 2013, when he ‘retired’ from first XI cricket, Stuart Davidson was one of the first names on the Grange teamsheet and he helped them win many trophies.
You cannot keep a good man down and over the last few years Davidson senior has continued to play for the club when required and indeed turned out for the first XI earlier this term.
He has taken a back seat now though and has been enjoying watching his sons Ben, 19, and Dylan, 18, turn out for Grange.
Both have represented the first XI at different points this summer and are hopeful of playing more games together going forward – and it has been Ben who has been in a good run of form of late with the top team.
Grange were flying in all competitions this season until they lost a league match against Watsonians on June 19.
The Stockbridge men dusted themselves down and have since defeated Meigle, Arbroath and ion8 Forfarshire to sit at the top of the table whilst also progressing to the last four of the Scottish Cup and the final of the Masterton T20 Trophy.
Ben Davidson has been opening the batting in recent weeks and playing his part with the ball and the Newcastle University student said: “Ever since I can remember myself and my brother were down at Grange matches watching my dad play, so our love of the game really came from those days spent on the boundary edge.
“I began to play with Grange and at school at Stewart’s Melville College as I grew up and then I headed down to Sedbergh School in Cumbria for my last two years of school.
“That was a great experience and the standard of cricket down there was excellent, for example my captain one of the years was George Hill who is now playing for Yorkshire.
“After finishing school in 2019, I took a year out to focus on cricket and I was lucky enough to play for Scotland under-19s in the World Cup in South Africa in early 2020 before the pandemic hit.
“I played some games for Grange last year when I could, but it has really been this summer that I have been available regularly and I have worked really hard to force myself into the first XI because there is a lot of competition for places.
“Myself and my brother are proud to represent the club that my dad played for and I’m really enjoying my cricket just now.”
Leaders Grange have two massive league matches this weekend, taking on second placed Heriot’s at Goldenacre on Saturday and then hosting third placed Carlton on Sunday.
Before they face Grange, Carlton travel up to Aberdeen on Saturday to take on resurgent hosts Stoneywood Dyce who are now seventh in the table.
Jamie King’s men won on the opening day of the league campaign, but then failed to register a victory again until July 3.
That day they defeated Stewart’s Melville and then last weekend they backed it up with another triumph over RH Corstorphine.
As a result, they go into the Peoples Park clash with Ali Evans’ charges looking for a third league win on the spin and a fourth home victory of the summer.
Former Stoneywood Dyce skipper George Ninan, 40, has taken six league wickets in the last fortnight for the team and was also in the wickets in a Caledonian T20 win over Huntly on Thursday evening to put them into the semi-finals of the regional event.
He said: “The team has played well against Stewart’s Melville and RHC and now we want to build on that even more over this double weekend.
“When we were on a run of games without a league win we did not panic because within that spell we played some good cricket while we also had some tough away trips and we knew that once we got back to a run of home games things would turnaround.
“That has been what has happened and to bowl RHC out for 89 last time out shows that the team are feeling good and playing well as a unit.
“There is no doubt that Carlton will be a very tough match, they are a good team who have been on a good recent run, but we always back ourselves at home and it should be a close match.”
On Sunday Stoneywood Dyce are then on the road to bottom club Meigle and this weekend will test all of the clubs and their resources, there promises to be some fascinating action over the two days.
This weekend’s Eastern Premier Division fixtures:
Heriot’s v Gen!us Grange
RH Corstorphine v Arbroath
Stewart’s Melville v Meigle
Stoneywood Dyce v Carlton
Watsonians v ion8 Forfarshire
Arbroath v ion8 Forfarshire
Gen!us Grange v Carlton
Meigle v Stoneywood Dyce
RH Corstorphine v Heriot’s
Watsonians v Stewart’s Melville
Ben Davidson is pictured batting by Graham Gaw while George Ninan is also pictured
The Cricket Scotland Podcast includes a round-up of the men’s and women’s league action from across the country every Tuesday, with player interviews and more. Follow @ScotlandPod on Twitter for all the latest information.