Gary Heatly looks ahead to a ‘double header’ of weekend action in the Eastern Premier Division…
This weekend is a big one at both ends of the Eastern Premier Division table with fixtures taking place on Saturday and Sunday as the end of the season edges ever closer.
After this week’s two rounds of action there will just be three matches left in the league campaign and leaders Heriot’s know they can put themselves into a strong position over the next two days or so.
They will be looking to defeat eighth placed Stoneywood Dyce in Aberdeen on Saturday and then back that up at Goldenacre against bottom side Meigle on Sunday.
However, any slip ups from Mark Watt’s men and second placed Carlton, third placed Gen!ius Grange and fourth placed ion8 Forfarshire will be looking to take advantage.
Carlton are taking on sixth placed Arbroath at Grange Loan on Saturday and then host ninth placed Stewart’s Melville on Sunday with Grange playing fifth placed Watsonians at Portgower Place on Saturday and then travelling to take on Forfarshire on Sunday.
The Forfs host Stew Mel on Saturday to start their weekend off.
At the bottom of the table, Stew Mel know they need some victories in the last five games to make sure they stay above Meigle while the Perthshire men have a big game at home to seventh placed RH Corstorphine on Saturday prior to their Sunday trip to Heriot’s.
Stoneywood Dyce have three wins to their name and after hosting Heriot’s on Saturday they travel to RHC on Sunday.
Watsonians are safely in mid-table and are building up for the Scottish Cup final versus Heriot’s on August 22.
After their trip to Stockbridge to play Grange on Saturday they are on the road to face fellow mid-table side Arbroath on Sunday.
Going back to the top of the table and in 2019, when the last full league campaign was played, Heriot’s finished in third behind champions Forfarshire and second placed Grange.
They last won the top flight in 2017 and this season their selection has been back to the consistency of that year while they have been able to add in quality additions like Matthew Cross, Gavin Main and Lloyd Brown.
Scotland man Cross has now scored the most runs ever in season by a Heriot’s first XI batter, but it was Hayes van der Berg who led the way last Saturday as the Goldenacre men clinched a vital win over title rivals Forfarshire.
Cross’ 29 runs in the home game meant that the Scotland man now has 1092 for the campaign, beating the previous record set by van der Berg (1072) in 2018.
An while van der Berg may have lost that record for now, the South African-born player is still one of the best batters playing in Scottish cricket currently and he showed that with 130 runs in the game.
Carlton, the 2016 champions, have been the team in-form of late and although very frustrated to see last Saturday’s league game at RHC called off, they did go to Arbroath and win the T20 Scottish Cup last Sunday.
And the positive showings by a number of his players at Lochlands certainly gives captain Ali Evans some selection issues to ponder ahead of this weekend.
Hayes van der Berg of Heriot’s is pictured batting last weekend by David Potter
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