Preview 7th / 8th August

If the weather relents Grammar will meet Bon Accord at Rubislaw in the biggest game of the season which could go a long way to deciding who will win Grade 1 this season.  Grammar make one change from the team that defeated Inverurie last weekend with Karen Anand replacing Harry Mapplebeck.  Crescent have pulled clear of the relegation zone with 2 wins in the last fornight and have Cults in their sights this weekend at the Links.  Abrar Pewekar has been a key man with bat and ball for Crescent this season while Abid Ali, Atif Shehman and Haider Durrani have all been in the wickets for Cults this year.  Grampian have upped sticks from Sheddockley and meet Gordonians at Harlaw.  Grampian have relied heavily on Jeby George’s run scoring ability this season and he’ll have to be on top form against the leagues top wicket taker Chamila Perera.  Inverurie have conceded to Knight Riders due to a number of unavailable players.  Master Blasters are scheduled to entertain Siyapa however Allan Park doesn’t usually cope too well with rain so only time will tell if these sides play with both teams scrapping to maintain their Grade 1 status.

Fraserburgh have the unenviable task of trying to dent Mannofield’s 100% record for the season and with Rutiwk Hedge and Shay Nanthakumaran in the Mannofield lineup they aren’t short on batting.  Methlick are scheduled to face 2nd Grammar although Lairds is another venue that struggles with water at times so this could be touch and go.  Ellon are expected to have one of their stronger teams for the season out on the park which could spell bad news for the Portcullis promotion hopes. 

The Crathie batsmen will be licking their lips at the chance of putting the Methlick bowlers to the sword as they’ve been rather expensive over the last few weeks.  Dunecht host Banchory at the Cowdary Estate and the Dunecht new ball pairing of Steve Derrett and Alan Burnett should keep the Banchory batsman honest.  Huntly welcome 2nd Grampian to Castle Park but Grampian will be expected to bounce back from their defeat by Banchory last weekend.  Stonehaven host a resurgent 2nd Gordonians and Gordos antipodean opening batting partnership of Ryan Davis and Karl Morris is starting to click.  The big hitting Alex Lynch misses out for Stoney after his heroics last week of scoring 45 from 14 balls!

The SPCU North East Championship enters the last 5 weekends with a couple of local derbies. Aberdeenshire host Stoneywood Dyce 2nds and Huntly visit Countesswells to play Gordonians. The Shire team has a youthful look to much of its line up with Ken Yahathugoda and Manu Saraswat added. SDCC had a good win against Forfarshire 2nds last Sunday, but don’t expect either of their top scorers from that game to be on show at Mannofield. Gordonians promote 15 year old Abhilash Vitthala to their 1st team after a number of impressive showings with the keeping gloves for their 2nds. Huntly ran Gordos close in their last encounter, but Gordos will turn up with 2 very good victories behind them from their last 2 league matches. Strathmore should prove too good for Kinloch at Forfar, and Freuchie should have little to worry about as they go to Forthill to play 2nd Forfarshire, although Forfs include the very talented Christian Robertson in their ranks. Perth Doocot have turned in some mercurial bowling performances this season, but they took a hammering against Gordonians last Saturday, and a similar result could be on the cards as they go to Falkland. Arbroath go to Dalnacraig to take on Dundee High.

In the Eastern Premier League, Grange will come to People’s Park as strong favourites against Stoneywood Dyce, the latter off the back of a creditable performance against Arbroath. RH Corstorphine took an absolute battering last weekend and it could be a repeat as they face second place Carlton. Bottom side Meigle will need a considerable rub of the green if they are to get much from a trip to Watsonians, and fellow strugglers Stewarts Melville will need to up their game to take away any points from Arbroath. The big game at the top of the table sees leaders Heriots host Forfarshire, but only if the forecast of thunderstorms in Edinburgh turns out to be wide of the mark. 

On Sunday its Finals day at Mannofield as Mannofield entertain Fraserburgh in the Bon Accord cup. Mannofield have the luxury of being able to call on the talented juniors Joseph Horne and Ayush Dasmahapatra. The Broch wont worry about being underdogs and with the Bowie brothers, Paul O’Neill and Chris Gospel they are capable of taking any attack apart. In the Reid Cup 2nd Grampian face Banchory. Sam Rotherham has previous from finals day at Mannofield having put Portcullis to the sword in the 2018 final scoring 102.