PREVIEW 25th / 26th JUNE 2022

Crescent take a familiar line up to Mannofield on Saturday looking to maintain their advantage at the top of Grade 1. The vagaries of the SPCU North East Championship looking to reduce from 12 to 10 teams means that they have gaps in their fixture list, and with Aberdeenshire having the day off, Crescent will be pleased to see that they haven’t loaded up their Grade 1 side as they could have. Mannofield do give a rare Grade 1 appearance to Aayush Das, and the all round talents of Rahul Chandu will give them a bucket load of spin options to potentially bamboozle the Crescent batting.
Roger Ewen is once again the first name on the team sheet for Inverurie as they head to their perennial graveyard at Allan Park to play Master Blasters. Granted this is on an alphabetical basis, but Ewen has sat through a few ‘did not bats’ for the benefit of his club, and the inclusion of Fraser Lawrance and Stuart Murrison could add to that number. Master Blasters have had a solid season and have 2 of the top league wicket takers in Hemal Chovatiya and Chetan Aggarwal making a major contribution to their progress.It’s big game time at Links as Knight Riders try to recover from their defeat to Crescent last week, taking on Bon Accord who are hot on their heels in 3rd place in the league. Champions AGSFPs have played 7 and lost them all, but they usually do well at Countesswells. They have a lot of batting at their disposal, and with Chamila Perera moving up to the Gordos 1st team, Grammar have an opportunity to kickstart their season.
4th plays 6th as 2nd Knight Riders host Cults at Groats Road. Bala Balaji has led from the front with 13 wickets for 2nd KR and they will leapfrog Cults if they can win.

It’s crunch time at Harlaw in Grade 2 as Bon Accord Cup finalists Siyapa and Grampian face off at the longer 40 over format. Grampian will be looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the season, but Siyapa have a strong line up including Arfan Ali who has taken 11 wickets at an average of only 4.55. 
2nd place Fraserburgh go to Ellon with the Bowie brothers and Stuart Flowerdew adding solidity to the swashbuckling Chris Gospel. Banchory are at Rubislaw and will find 2nd Grampian a tough nut to crack.

In Grade 3, Methlick are at Countesswells to play a very understrength 2nd Gordonians, and should have little trouble maintaining their promotion push. Huntly should also pick up a win as 3rd Gordonians travel up with a lot of young talent in their ranks. Riyansh Kirodian and Prayuj Patel excelled at the national under 13 finals day last Sunday, but Huntly also have useful youngsters to call on. 2nd Siyapa will expect to pick up full points at Lairds against 2nd Methlick, but a burst of wicket taking from Fraser Grant might put the hosts in the Ythan View with a healthier thirst. Stonehaven skipper Nathan MacAulay-Dicks will be confident that they can put runs on the board against Stoneywood Dyce at Duthie Park, but their problem has been an inability to take wickets, so this might be a close game. In the remaining match Dunecht will be sweating on the availability of Alan Burnett as Crathie visit the Cowdray Estate.

In the SPCU North East Championship, Gordonians head to Perth Doocot without the injured Aman Arora and the unavailable Adi Mehta, but they give a 1st team debut to 13 year old Tanish Kirodian alongside the returning Akhlaq Bashir. Perth are without the prolific wicket taking of Ivor Patterson and they may find it difficult to dismiss the Gordos batting. Huntly are on the road as well and it will be a surprise if they don’t win comfortably against a weakened 2nd Arbroath. 2nd Stoneywood Dyce have Jamie King and Shaun Coetzer in the team as they play basement side Dundee High in what could be a quick match at People’s Park. Meigle are at Forfar and should overpower Kinloch, and Strathmore are at Forthill against 2nd Forfarshire.

In the Eastern Premier League Stoneywood Dyce are in Edinburgh to play Carlton. No matter the result SDCC will stay above their opponents in the table, but given Carlton haven’t been setting the heather on fire, they may fancy taking the points back home, especially if Lennard Bester can find his big hitting early season form. Forfarshire would expect to win away to Watsonian and Grange are without Dylan Budge as they face Stewarts Melville. Heriot’s would expect to beat Falkland and stay top of the EPL, and Arbroath are at RH Corstorphine still searching for their first win of the season.

The remaining Aberdeenshire Cup quarter final between Mannofield and 2nd Knight Riders takes place at Rubislaw on Sunday, whilst Aberdeenshire will be at Mannofield for another quarter final, this one against Watsonian in the Scottish Cup. Shire will be hoping that the majority of their 1st team will benefit from a rest day on Saturday, and that Watsonian might struggle to persuade all their players to make the trip North.