Domestic Preview – Week 11

Cricket Media preview the weekends action in the Eastern and Western Premier Divisions

Lizzie Sleet @CricketScotland
July 8, 2017 7 years
Domestic Preview – Week 11
Picture:Donald MacLeod

Safyaan Sharif is determined to lead his Glenrothes form horses to glory against neighbours Falkland – then cheer on them on in their quest to reach Lord’s.

Glens play host to the basement boys in today’s Fife derby and will go into battle as clear-cut favourites.

The following afternoon, Falkland welcome holders Sessay with a ticket to the quarter finals of the British Village Cup up for grabs.

Cautious captain Sharif said: “Local encounters are always special and we know we will have to work hard to keep up our run of positive results.

“We have been producing some excellent cricket over the past few weeks and we need to keep up the momentum.

“After that, we will all be right behind Falkland in their big match on Sunday.”

Glens are boosted by the return of Ben Wilkinson and Vasu Reddy.

Despite being unable to field a full-strength line-up on a single occasion this season, Arbroath still lead the title race.

For their tussle with SMRH at Inverleith they will be without no fewer than five frontline players.

Fraser and Calvin Burnett are attending a stag party, Craig Ramsay has family commitments and work prevents Greig Peal and skipper Marc Petrie from making the jaunt across the Forth.

Jack Waller and Euan Small return, while Shaun Christie gets an opportunity after impressing with the ball for the second team and in the recent Murgitroyd T20.

Forfarshire are also capital-bound to take on Heriot’s.

The Broughty Ferry boys will be in confident mood in the wake of their success at Mannofield against Aberdeenshire, who square up at Myreside to a Watsonians line-up which has been rattling up the runs.

As ever, the Grange v Carlton showdown at Raeburn Place will be a tough one to call.

The home men will be keen to make amends for last week’s shock Scottish Cup exit at the hands of Drumpellier.

PRESTWICK skipper Shahzad Rafiq has hailed club legend Andy Tennant for his role in galvanising the Ayrshire club.

Rafiq’s men rose to the top of the Western Premier table last week and are now eyeing a return to the glory days that saw them dominate the old County Championship in the early 1990s.

Tennant, a stalwart of that side, is a coaching consultant to the current crop of talented youngsters at the Henry Thow Oval and Rafiq values the input of Cricket Scotland’s former Director of Cricket.

Rafiq said: “Andy has been brilliant – he’s a great help to me as captain and also to the younger players.

“His knowledge and experience have been a big factor and, of course, he is a Prestwick man through and through and that enthusiasm rubs off on everyone.”

Having gone top, Rafiq acknowledges that staying there will be just as hard in a season which has seen the leadership change hands on an almost weekly basis.

Prestwick, pushed hard by bottom of the table Kelburne a week ago, face another tough test at Dumfries today.

The skipper added: “Dumfries always produce a good wicket and have a batting line-up who can score heavily so we know we will need to be at our best.”

Elsewhere, Uddingston, the team Prestwick replaced at the top, will bid to bounce back from their surprise defeat to Greenock.

They entertain a Poloc side who are showing glimpses of the form that saw them win the corresponding fixture at Shawholm on the second Saturday of the season.

Uddingston skipper Bryan Clarke, who returns after missing last week’s match, admitted: “It was obviously a big disappointment but the guys are desperate to get back on track this week.

“We know Poloc have some very talented cricketers and are a good side.”

Poloc have won their last two league fixtures and were well placed to make it three before rain intervened at Ferguslie a week ago.

Twenty-four hours later they may well have knocked Eastern Premier champions Carlton out of the Scottish Cup – but for the concession of 30 Extras.

A club spokesman said: “The loss to Carlton was a missed opportunity and we continue to suffer from inconsistency.”

Poloc are still without their captain Craig Young who remains side-lined through injury but Owais Shah and Ihtisham Malik return from Scotland representative duty.

Another two title contenders, Ferguslie and Ayr, meet in a potential run-feast at Meiklreiggs.

The visitors boast the two leading scorers in the division in Michael Papps and Neil Smith who have already shared four century stands including one in the corresponding game at Camubusdoon.

However, Ferguslie have their firepower in the shape of Scotland prospect Michael English who trumped both Ayr men with 134no in that game at Cambusdoon.

The home side welcome back their leading wicket-taker Haroon Tahir from Scotland U19 action.

Kelburne continue their pursuit of a first league win when they entertain in-form champions Clydesdale.

Despite four defeats, Dale remain potential challengers for a third title in a row and they travel in high spirits following a fine midweek Rowan Cup semi-final win over Uddingston.

Greenock can take a huge step towards securing top-flight survival if they can win their Glenpark clash with East Kilbride whose only win came when the sides met at Torrance House in May.

The home side are boosted by the return of Chris Hemspey Shailesh Prabhu and Sam Sanghera.

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