Four rounds of games to go in Grade 1 and AGSFPs have opened up a 20 point gap on Bon Accord in second place. It would take a really bad day at the office for Grammar to lose and collect less than 11 bonus points, so they have built up a worthwhile points buffer. 9 of the 14 occasions on which a losing team have scored 10 points or less this season have happened at Allan Park, Sheddocksley and Links, and Grammar only have to visit the latter on the last day of the season. This assumes that Bon Accord keep the pressure up by winning all their remaining games, and their first test is the visit of Gordonians to Links. Gordonians had a comfortable win on an earlier visit to Links against Crescent but you would probably have to go back to the 2011 Aberdeenshire Cup final to find the last 11 a side Gordonians win against Bons, and this won’t be helped by the promotion of Chamila Perera to their SPCU side. Grammar should keep up their winning ways as they hop over the fence to play Siyapa at Harlaw. Siyapa have a particularly tough run to the end of the season, and every point, winning or losing, will be crucial as they look to avoid relegation. Grampian are propping up Grade 1 and desperately need a win, but beating Knight Riders at Groats Road will be a tough task. The Allan Park derby between Master Blasters and Cults was a high scoring win for MBA last time around, and a repeat result could see them move out of the relegation zone. The remaining fixture sees Crescent go to Kellands Park to take on Inverurie.
In Grade 2, leaders Mannofield add the very experienced Rene Van Oorschot to their line up as they host 2nd Knight Riders at Mannofield. Second place Ellon welcome Fraserburgh to Gordon Park for what should be a close fought game, and Portcullis would be expected to overcome 2nd AGSFPs at Rubislaw as they keep up the chase for second spot in the table.
In Grade 3 the top four play each other, and cup winners 2nd Grampian look to strengthen their double claims as they face a tough trip to Stonehaven. The updated guidance from Cricket Scotland has ruled out the famous Crathie mince pies, so Banchory will have to focus purely on preserving their second place in the grade as they go to Balmoral. At the other end of the table, 2nd Gordonians host Dunecht and will be hoping for runs from Messrs Davis and Hounsome as they look for a 3rd league win. Huntly make the trip to Lairds to play 2nd Methlick.
The big local derby in the SPCU North East Championship takes Aberdeenshire to Countesswells to face Gordonians. Shire include Shay Nanthakumaran who will add solidity to their batting, but Gordos will be without the all round talents of Aman Arora and Himanshu Saraswat. The result may well hinge on the performance of the respective slower bowlers. Leaders Freuchie will be looking to bounce back from a one run defeat last Saturday as Perth Doocot visit. Any chance of a Perth win will probably need a sizeable haul of wickets from Mohammed Mohsin. Second place Falkland should thrive on the batting wicket at Arbroath, and the Dundee derby between Dundee High and 2nd Forfs could depend on which side masters the normally tricky Dalnacraig wicket. Don’t expect any side to be hitting 200 as it is liable to be a battle of the bowlers at Huntly as Strathmore hit the bypass. Lack of bodies is an issue for Stoneywood Dyce as they have conceded the points to Kinloch who move away from the bottom of the table.
It’s another 2 match weekend in the Eastern Premier League and leaders Heriots will expect to strengthen their percentage as they face struggling Stoneywood Dyce and Meigle. SDCC take them on in their final home game of the season at People’s Park on Saturday, more in hope than expectation, but the Sunday trip to Edinburgh to face RH Corstorphine will certainly be an opportunity for SDCC to get points on the board. Meigle face RHC on Saturday and will know this is one of very few remaining opportunities for them to sneak away from the foot of the league. Stewarts Melville are away to Forfarshire and Carlton so don’t expect them to be moving away from the relegation zone.