Grammar Still Livin’ On A Prayer

To quote Jon Bon Jovi ‘Woah, we’re half way there’, 8 weeks gone and 8 to go, and trying to hold on to what they’ve got at the top of Grade 1 are AGSFPs who meet Siyapa at Rubislaw. Whilst Siyapa will give it a shot, the Swiergon, Proud, Anand middle order may well mean the visitors need a prayer or 2. Bon Accord visit Gordonians at Countesswells where the track is expected to be hard and fast, conditions which may well suit Bons, although Gordos include Kaleem Imran in their side after a lengthy absence from Grades cricket. Inverurie are rarely all that enthusiastic about a trip to Links, but having beaten Bons there in week 2, they will fancy their chances against Crescent who have put in performances that deserve better than their current 9th position in the league. The Allan Park derby between Cults and Master Blasters could be a tight affair but if Ajay Narne can rediscover his early season form then MBA might blast away from the foot of the table. The pitch at Sheddocksley did not cope well with the recent dry spell, and with wall to wall sunshine forecast for Saturday, the match between Grampian and Knight Riders may well require some attritional batting. 

In Grade 2, the big game is at Gordon Park where Ellon will be hoping to inflict a first league defeat on Mannofield. Having been unable to find 11 players last Saturday, a lot will depend on how many of the Ellon top performers find their way onto the team sheet, particularly as Mannofield are not at full strength. Portcullis have been the surprise package in G2 but it wouldn’t be a surprise if they found themselves in the Ythanview at Methlick with 30 points and 30 pints between them. 2nd AGSFPs are the latest team to suffer availability issues as injuries and people taking post lockdown holidays mean they have scratched to 2nd Knight Riders.

Grade 3 normally offers up a fairly relaxed Saturday afternoon of cricket, but things have been getting a bit overly competitive of late. The top 4 face the bottom 4 and current form suggests the top 4 will prevail in all the encounters. Stonehaven will be hitting the AWPR as they go to Huntly who may well struggle unless they have the stylish batting talents of Liam Ferguson in their ranks for a second week. 2nd Gordonians welcome back Alex Hounsome to their line up as they host Banchory. 2nd Methlick will be the heaviest underdogs of the day as they go to Duthie Park to face league leaders 2nd Grampian, and having lost their early season impetus, Crathie go to Dunecht as they try to do the double on their hosts.

It’s Aberdeenshire Cup semi final time on Sunday and AGSFPs will be marginal favourites as they face Knight Riders at Rubislaw. Gordonians include Adi Hegde, fresh from Scotland under 15 duty, in their side as they host Crescent. Expect both games to be competitive and close.

In the SPCU North East Championship, Freuchie and Falkland have opened a gap from the chasing pack at the top of the division, and those looking to challenge them are running out of opportunities. One such opportunity arises at Mannofield as Falkland come to Aberdeen on a roll of demolitions thanks to a barrel load of runs from former Shire Pro Harsha Cooray. He has been backed up by the Hepburn/Hamilton opening bowling partnership which has taken 33 wickets at an average of about 6 so plenty for Kenny Reid and his team to deal with. The Arbroath 2nd team won their first game of the season against the second string of Stoneywood Dyce last weekend but Gordonians go to Lochlands looking to take advantage of what is usually a pitch for batsmen to fill their boots on. Huntly have been on the wrong side of some tough results lately and they will have to turn things around if they are to get any joy at Freuchie. Expect a home victory as Strathmore host Dundee High and it could be tight as 2nd Forfarshire welcome Kinloch. 2nd Stoneywood Dyce are at home to Perth Doocot on Sunday.

This weekend is a double header of huge games in the Eastern Premier League. Stoneywood Dyce are at home on Saturday to Carlton and they will be hoping that the visitors are a bit relaxed on their selection given Carlton have a tasty Edinburgh derby against Grange the following day. Whilst a win against Carlton would be a bit of a bonus for SDCC, their trip to Meigle on the Sunday gives them an opportunity to hammer a nail in the relegation coffin of Meigle. Meigle are at fellow strugglers Stewarts Melville on Saturday so it could be a season defining weekend at the foot of the table. Stew Mel are at Watsonians on Sunday and RH Cortorphine have home games against Arbroath and Heriots and they could well end up being sucked into the relegation battle.