The big games come thick and fast in Grade 1 this weekend. AGSFPs are at Inverurie, both having won 5 on the bounce since Inverurie couldn’t raise a team for the reverse fixture at Rubislaw in June. AGSFPs have the more dynamic batting line up, but Inverurie have the variety of bowling, alongside their solid batting, to make this a close contest. Bon Accord are only 3 points behind Grammar in the table and will be looking to keep up the pressure as Cults, who have lost 3 in a row, visit Links. Knight Riders shaded their last game against Gordonians by 10 runs and will be favourites to hold on to 3rd in the division. Gordos go to Groats Road including Chamila Perera who tops the wicket taking in the Grade with 23, 3 ahead of George Hadden of Inverurie. 2 critical games at the bottom end of the table as Master Blasters face Grampian at Allan Park and Siyapa play Crescent at Sheddocksley. With 2nd Grampian stuck on for promotion from Grade 3 to Grade 2, their 1st XI could be in danger of playing in Grade 2 as well if they don’t start winning games. Siyapa haven’t won since they beat Crescent on 19th June and they could do with a win to arrest their potential slide to Grade 2.
Portcullis have been the surprise package in Grade 2 and they take on 2nd Knight Riders at Duthie Park. Fraserburgh are still in with a shout for promotion and they are at Methlick on Saturday. 2nd AGSFPs could be fetching the ball from beyond the boundary at Rubislaw if Ellon can get their top batsman on the pitch.
The top 2 sides in Grade 3 meet at Harlaw as Banchory travel in to play 2nd Grampian. Banchory will need to take their catches and get a few wickets from Mark Herbert and friends if they are to get a sniff of victory. Crathie go to Huntly whose fortunes seem to revolve around the inclusion of Liam Ferguson. Stonehaven are at Dunecht, and the bottom 2 meet at Countesswells as 2nd Gordonians welcome 2nd Methlick.
In the SPCU North East Championship, Perth Doocot start a run of 3 away games against the top 3 in the division. Fresh from a match that ended in a tie against Strathmore they travel to Countesswells to face a Gordonians side probably still on a high from beating Falkland last Saturday. The Gordos side is packed full of batting but will have to be creative around finding the 9 overs of a 5th bowler. Aberdeenshire are the latest side to get a crack at league leaders Freuchie. Shire will be missing Findlay Anderson and will have to be nimble with their bowling changes to prevent Freuchie building stubborn partnerships. Falkland go to Forfar to take on Strathmore and will be looking to bounce back from a rare defeat. The Forfar wicket has been very batting friendly, so it would be no surprise if Falkland piled on the runs. Huntly are at Dundee High, both coming off excellent victories, and the Dalnacraig wicket might favour the more experienced Huntly bowling attack. Arbroath had a miserable day at Huntly last Saturday and they face fellow strugglers Kinloch at Lochlands. Both sides like to play their shots and that has habitually led to defeat. On Sunday it is the battle of the 2nd XIs as Forfarshire come to Stoneywood Dyce. Neither side has been setting the heather on fire but home advantage may well see a home victory.
7 games to go in the Eastern Premier League and Stoneywood Dyce begin a run of 3 home games as Arbroath travel to People’s Park. The Arbroath bowling attack hasn’t exactly been striking fear into their opponents, and their success or otherwise, has been dependent on runs from Messrs Parker and McLean. Arbroath seem to have struggled against spin bowling so don’t be surprised if Jamie King has options up his sleeve if his pace bowlers don’t make early inroads. Expect Meigle, Stewarts Melville and RH Corstorphine to remain in the bottom 4 as they play Forfarshire, Grange and Watsonians respectively. The big game is at the top of the table as 2nd place Carlton welcome leaders Heriots.
Sunday is Scottish Under 14s finals day and Aberdeenshire go to Edinburgh to face strong favourites Clydesdale in the semi finals. Grange or Livingston await the winners in the final.