Domestic Preview – Week 4

Cricket Media preview week 4 of action in the Eastern and Western Premier Divisions

Lizzie Sleet @CricketScotland
May 18, 2018 6 years

Grange mainstay Andrew Brock insisted his unbeaten side’s approach to their trip to Glenrothes will not change – despite the absence of star turn Safyaan Sharif from the home line-up.

Sharif has commitments to Derbyshire, for whom he made his debut in midweek after signing on as a white-ball specialist.

Former skipper Brock said: “I’m sure whoever Glenrothes select, they’ll be out for a victory on their own patch.“

“We tend not to worry about opposition personnel and focus on what we do well.”

Experienced pair Ryan Flannigan and Neil McCallum are unavailable for Grange.

And Brock added: “We will be continuing our policy of bringing through youth wherever possible from our junior/academy section.”

One of the nursery products, Patrick Ritchie, will again be behind the timbers while Harris Carnegie recovers from injury.

Glens bring in Asdaq Raja for Sharif, with Vasu Reddy taking charge of the team.

Spokesman Kenny Crichton stated: “After the early-season weather problems, we are really looking forward to staging our first home match of the campaign.”

Arbroath return to Carlton, where their quest for title glory last summer hit the buffers in such dramatic fashion.

But as Lichties captain Marc Petrie pointed out: “We have also had some excellent results at Grange Loan over the past few years, though previous events won’t have any impact on what happens this weekend.

“Carlton are a fantastic club who bring through many of their own players through the system instead of recruiting heavily from elsewhere, a policy I have huge respect for.

“I’ve known their skipper Ali Evans for a long time and I know he’ll have his side well prepared.

“However, we can take great confidence from last weekend having chased a big total with only two wickets down against Glenrothes.

“We must continue in the same way if we are to take anything from this match as well as looking for continuous improvement in all aspects of the game.”

Shaun Christie is unavailable after a superb bowling performance last week.

He is replaced by second team captain, Craig Ross who makes his debut for the senior eleven.

Champions Heriot’s head for Tayside to square up to Forfarshire, whose skipper Umair Mohammed will demand the same level of performance that carried them to success against Stew-Mel last time out.

He said: “We are very much looking forward to it.

“We always have a good battle with Heriots and the fact they are unbeaten in their title defence will make it a huge challenge for us.”

RHC Lions aim to get back to winning ways as they entertain Watsonians, while Stew-Mel head north to take on Aberdeenshire.

Uddingston skipper Bryan Clarke is relishing the challenge of today’s visit to Poloc as his side aim to build on their first win of the campaign.

The Bothwell team were one of several to break their duck last week with an impressive win over Stirling and Clarke is looking for more of the same.

Uddy launched a late run to finish third last season and Clarke said: “Hopefully we can get a bit more momentum this time and the weather doesn’t intervene.
“It was a really strong performance against a Stirling team who look like they’ll do well in the Premier division.

“Going to Poloc will present another challenge for us – they are a different team from last year but seem to have started pretty brightly and are always strong at home.”

Clarke pointed to South African pair Jurie Snyman and Coenie Nel along with Western Warriors batsman Craig Young as the potential dangermen but has several match-winners in his own ranks, none more so than Ross Lyons who has forced his way back into the Scotland reckoning after an absence of almost eight years.

Lyons claimed 6-21 a week ago and Clarke added: “I can’t praise Ross highly enough. We are fortunate to have him and his input to the team and club overall is a huge part of what we’re doing at present.”

Poloc, who lost the southside derby a week ago, are looking to recapture the never-say-die spirit that saw them win a last-over thriller against West of Scotland on the opening day.

Elsewhere Stirling will play their first competitive home game in almost a year when they entertain leaders Ferguslie who, having won three games in a row at Meikleriggs, are on the road for the first time.

Stirling skipper Matt Tweedie said: “We’re really looking forward to this one – not only will it be great to face the top team in the league but just playing at New Williamfield will be special.

“So many games were hit by the weather last year that we haven’t had a competitive home game since 8th July – so it’s been a long wait.”

Ferguslie, having overpowered Ayr last week, travel with an unchanged side and skipper Jamey Carruthers said: “Last week was the sort of performance we are looking for every week and we really underlined our intentions going forward.

West of Scotland have emerged as Ferguslie’s closest challengers and the Partick men will be wary of a backlash when they visit Ayr today.
Dumfries and Greenock are looking for their first wins of the campaign when they entertain Clydesdale and Prestwick respectively.

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