Gary Heatly looks ahead to the final day of Eastern Premier Division action for 2021…
Meigle and Stewart’s Melville meet on the final day of the Eastern Premier Division season on Saturday with the winners staying in the division and the losers getting relegated.
The top flight campaign has ebbed and flowed since early May and Heriot’s already made sure of the title last weekend which means that the biggest match in the division this time around is at the bottom.
Stew Mel’s dramatic one run win over RH Corstorphine last Saturday evening has left them in ninth spot heading into the Victory Park clash while Meigle are 10th – in bottom spot – after they lost to Gen!us Grange on the same day.
All of Meigle’s three victories in the league this term – against Arbroath, Stoneywood Dyce and RHC – have come on their home patch and they have made a good fist of things at times since being promoted in 2019.
Stew Mel have been in the top flight for longer and want to extend that stay by adding to their two wins over RHC and one over Meigle to date in the competition.
Meigle captain Charles Clark said: “I cannot fault the players for the effort they have put in this season, we always knew it was going to be a big step up after we got promoted in 2019, but no one has backed away from that challenge and we have given it everything we have got.
“The mood in the camp is good and we enjoy playing at home, so we are looking forward to welcoming Stew Mel to Victory Park this weekend and giving it our all.
“In certain games this season teams at the top end of the table have overpowered us at times, but in parts of those matches we have shown what we can do while against sides in the bottom half of the table we have caused issues and managed to win three games.
“Our spirit was shown a few weeks ago when we were 89-5 batting first against RHC before managing to haul ourselves up to 186-6.
“They were then 144-3 in reply, but we bowled well latterly to win by 10 runs and that kind of result gave us positive thoughts to take into this weekend.”
Stew Mel skipper Steven Parker said: “Despite where we have been in the league for most of the summer there has never been a lack of confidence in the first XI playing group and we have a great spirit amongst us which was shown last Saturday when we held on for a crucial win.
“When we won by one run against RHC the guys were delighted, I think it typifies our desire to keep fighting right until the end and we will need to do that again against Meigle this weekend.
“We managed to beat them at Inverleith earlier in the season, but that counts for nothing now and this is very much a ‘one off’ game.
“We know that Meigle pride themselves on making their home ground a fortress and they have some good players, but we are not daunted about going there and I know this group of players has it within us to go there and win.
“It is up to us more experienced players to lead by example on Saturday, keep everyone calm and just make sure the team plays the cricket we know that we are capable of.”
Elsewhere, champions Heriot’s travel to third placed Grange.
Second placed Carlton are hosting eighth placed Stoneywood Dyce, fifth placed Watsonians are away to fourth placed ion8 Forfarshire and sixth placed Arbroath are hosting seventh placed RHC at Lochlands.
Meigle and Stewart’s Melville – pictured by Graham Gaw – are ready for a big day on Saturday
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