ACA Grades cricket - Bon Accord v Aberdeen Grammar FPS at the Links. Picture of Bon Accord batsman Akhlaq Bashir. Picture by KENNY ELRICK 02/06/2018

The 4 undefeated teams in Grade 1 face each other this Saturday. Allan Park hosts the Master Blasters Aberdeen against AGSFPs game and MBA will be hoping that Ajay Narne makes a third match winning innings in a row. AGSFPs will have to be careful where they put their pads on a pitch with regular low bounce that saw MBA pick up 5 lbw decisions (a very rare event in Grades cricket) in their win against Gordonians last Saturday. Cults go to Inverurie with both captains showing form with the bat. Aqeel Ajazi will be hoping to follow up on his unbeaten 71 against Grampian but may not find the going so easy against the Inverurie bowling attack. Trevor Norval will head up a solid Inverurie batting line up as the Garioch side look to continue their unbeaten run. This wouldn’t be the first season when Bon Accord have started with a defeat and then powered through to win the title and Grampian are in the firing line at Links as Bons look to get a victory under their belt. Knight Riders will be hoping to bounce back at Groats Road after suffering a last ball defeat against Siyapa last weekend. Crescent are the visitors. Siyapa take on Gordonians at Sheddocksley and will be hoping to be the first Grade 1 side not to lose 5 wickets to Chamila Perera, although his bowling prowess has yet to bring his side a win.

In Grade 2 Mannofield will get their season started after 2 weeks of kicking their heels with Portcullis circumnavigating the Mannofield beer garden. Portcullis will be looking to stalwart Dave Mitchell for runs and wickets and don’t be surprised if a Yahathugoda tops the run scoring for the home side. 2nd Knight Riders go to Rubislaw to play 2nd AGSFPs fresh from putting up a very respectable bowling display at Ellon last Saturday. Unfortunately their batting was not quite so respectable and this could be a relatively low scoring nail biter. Stoneywood Dyce again find themselves struggling to find 33 players and have scratched to Ellon thereby denying Jonny Barrett the chance to register another score of 64.

Grade 3 is shaping up to be a 4 horse race at the top, and a betting man would expect wins this weekend for 2nd Grampian, Stonehaven, Crathie and Banchory. 2nd Methlick will be hoping the recent sunshine will have dried out the Lairds outfield as they welcome Crathie, and Dunecht will need someone to step up with the bat if they are to stretch Banchory at Burnett Park. 2nd Gordonians have had excellent contributions from their under 13 contingent in recent games but the experienced Stonehaven bowling attack should prove too strong at Countesswells. Huntly may have the best chance of springing a surprise as they make the trip to Harlaw to face 2nd Grampian. 

Arbroath have made a miserable start to their Eastern Premier League campaign but they may be a bit more comfortable on home territory as they take on Stoneywood Dyce. The People’s Park boys failed to capitalise on some good early bowling against Forfarshire last week and will be hoping to run through what has been an unexpectedly fragile Arbroath batting line up.In the Strathmore Union pace setters Aberdeenshire head up to Huntly and will be looking for more runs from Aayush Das and Kenny Reid plus all round input from Lewis Munro. Gordonians go to Forfar to play Kinloch with their confidence slightly dented by their defeat to Morton in the Challenge Cup on Sunday but Gordos captain Mayank Bhandari will be hoping his batting line up can out score Kinloch and put some more points on the board. Stoneywood Dyce 2nd XI may find things difficult at home to Strathmore but skipper Andy Rayner will be trying to juggle his bowlers around to restrict the visitors. Perth Doocot take on Arbroath, Dundee High will need a big improvement in their batting to challenge Freuchie and Falkland will look to continue their good start to the season at home to Forfarshire 2nds.