Bons Hope To Knock Out Knights Title Hopes

Crescent and Gordonians meet this weekend with the venue still a little bit up in the air as the new artificial pitch at the Links needs a bit of remedial work.  Ex Bon Accord and Aberdeen Super Kings all rounder Ashfaq Bashir is expected to make his Grades debut for Gordos.  Grampian entertain neighbours Siyapa at Sheddockley and with little to separate the teams in the league table it could be a very close game.  Inverurie are back in action with Master Blasters the lucky opposition getting to enjoy the excellent facilities at Kellands Park.  With Luke Bain, Fraser Lawrance and Jordan Thom back in the starting lineup there is no lack of firepower with the ball.  Knightriders host Bon Accord at Groats Road with the Vijay’s Vijapur and Amithraj both in form with the ball this season.  This game could be a real turning point for whoever wins this in the wide open race for Grade 1  Cults welcome AGSFPs to Allan Park and with the rain of the last 24 hours hopefully the pitch wont be under 3 feet of water.  Grammar have been able to call on the services of Harry Mapplebeck because he’s licking his lips at the bowler friendly surface.  A major boost for Cults is that Rob Swiergon is unavailable.

The Grade 2 clubs start their Reid Cup campaigns this weekend with 2nd Grammar hosting Mannofield.  After his heroics in the T20 on Tuesday night Mannofield will be hoping from a big performance from junior Manu Saraswat and should be able to rely on runs from Shy Nanthakumaran.    Ellon are hitting the A952 to Fraserburgh without the all round talents of Jonathan Barrett who’s down at Murrayfield cheering on the British Lions.  The self-appointed fastest bowler in Grade 2 Chris Gospel might be referring to himself as the most miserly bowler in Grade 2 after his 3 for 4 from 9 overs last weekend.   Portcullis face 2nd Knightriders at Duthie Park hoping ex Ellon junior Keir Paterson will be in the wickets again after making a solid impact in his debut against Fraserburgh last week taking 3 for 7 then being at the wicket when the winning runs were scored.

In Grade 3 2nd Methlick welcome 2nd Gordonians to Lairds and with Methlick’s 1st team game being called off with Stoneywood Dyce pulling out of the league then there might be some additional bodies up for selection.  Banchory and 2nd Grampian meet at Burnett Park with both teams currently on 100% records so something has to give in this encounter.  If the hard hitting Sam Rotherham comes off with the bat then it could be a hard day for the 2nd Grampian bowlers.  Huntly are on their travels to Balmoral to play Crathie and its expected that Darren Morrison will be on the receiving end of a full body cavity search from the Metropolitan police force not because he’s under suspicion just because he’d enjoy it.  Stonehaven have Dunecht in their sights at home but will have to do it without Bryan Snelling who is unavailable but have captain Ray Van Gijssel in fine form after his knock in the cup last week.

On Sunday the Grade 1 teams play the quarter finals of the Aberdeenshire Cup.  AGSFPs host Grampian, Bon Accord play Crescent, Gordonians take on Master Blaster and Siyapa welcome Knightriders.

In the SPCU North East Championship, Aberdeenshire travel to Perth Doocot to face a side who look short on batting and will be relying on the experience of Ivor Patterson for wickets. Shire are fresh from a midweek T20 victory over Stoneywood Dyce and a league triumph over Gordonians and welcome back Kenny Reid and Michael Elliott to their ranks. Gordonians will be dusting themselves down for the visit of Dundee High who notched up a 1 run win over Forfarshire 2nds last Saturday. DHSFPs were on the wrong side of a drubbing against Linlithgow in the Challenge Cup on the Sunday before rain intervened and it would be a major surprise if they left Countesswells with anything other than losing bonus points.Huntly will be going for a second league win of the season as Forfarshire 2nds travel up the A90 hoping to break their losing streak. Forfs opener Graeme Garden is due a big score and the experienced Huntly opening bowlers of Barry Newlands and Andrew Petrie will be looking to take early wickets before the spinners try to strangle the scoring. Stoneywood Dyce face a tough trip to Falkland and will need to get their Pro Harsha Cooray out cheaply to have any chance of getting close to a win. Elsewhere, Strathmore should be far too good for Arbroath and expect Freuchie to overwhelm Kinloch on Sunday at Forfar. 

In the Eastern Premier League, Stoneywood Dyce might have Watsonians on their list of potential home victories at fortress Peoples Park, but they have been struggling to get Scotland international batsmen out and none are more destructive than Ollie Hairs of Watsonians. One eye will be on the result of the Stewarts Melville visit to RH Corstorphine as Stew Mel look to register a first win. 

Local involvement in the national junior cups continues as Aberdeenshire under 14s go to Huntly on Sunday, and in the under 16 cup this past Thursday, Gordonians scored 137 for 3 in their 20 overs with the visitors 33 for 4 off their allocation.