PREVIEW 23rd JULY 2022

With only 7 weeks of the season left Crescent have a 24 point buffer at the top of Grade 1 and will be planning ahead to their remaining games and eyeing up a league and cup double. They will face Bon Accord in the Aberdeenshire Cup final on 28th August after both clubs eased through the semi finals last Sunday. Crescent made short work of 2nd Knight Riders, bowling them out in the 21st over for 91 with the wickets shared around. Rajeevan Sujaya was 55 not out as Crescent lost 1 wicket in their short 18 over innings. The Gordonians v Bon Accord tie lasted considerably longer, Gordos having to endure yet another Fazal Awan century as Bons batted first and piled up 313 for 8. Awan made 124 and Nawaz Mirza 59 as Bons went to 221 for 3, but a collapse to 228 for 7 only brought in some tail end big hitting pain for the stretched Gordos bowling attack. Adi Hegde top scored with 61 as Gordos were bowled out in the 36th over for 220 with Malik taking 4 wickets. 
Crescent will be favourites to win as they take on Gordonians at Links in the league. Gordos are without holidaying skipper Indy Pandit, but Chamila Perera returns after illness, and Crescent have Dave Gibson back in their bowling attack. Bons are at Groats Road against 2nd Knight Riders, and whilst they are without Malik, they should have more than enough in the tank to keep up the chase at the top.
On paper AGSFPs look doomed to be playing Grade 2 cricket in 2023, but if they can pull off a win against Master Blasters at Allan Park they then go into a run of games against those immediately above them. A heavy defeat is all that is covering the clubs sitting between 6th and 9th spot and Cults could get sucked into things if results start to go against them. They are at Mannofield and could do themselves (and others in the lower half of the table) a favour by picking up the winning points.
Inverurie have all their big guns out as they play Knight Riders at home. Jordan and Liam Thom join the usual suspects as they plot a points heist at Kellands Park. 
In Grade 2, Grampian go to Fraserburgh knowing that a win will still not let them overhaul their 2nd team (who don’t have a game) who sit top of the table. Fraserburgh are without the holidaying Michael Watson. Siyapa can marginally close the gap on the Grampian teams if they can defeat Banchory at Harlaw. Portcullis go to Ellon for what could be a close contest.
The unbeaten Methlick surge to the Grade 3 title should continue at Duthie Park against Stoneywood Dyce whilst their 2nds are at home at Lairds to Dunecht. Stonehaven have the bowling talents of Bryan Snelling back in their line up as they host Crathie. 2nd Gordonians include Alex Hounsome as they try to derail the Huntly promotion push on the Countesswells artificial that has produced regular runfests. 2nd Siyapa should prove far too strong for 3rd Gordonians at Sheddocksley.
In the SPCU North East Championship it’s top versus bottom as Aberdeenshire take a strong team to Dalnacraig to play Dundee HSFP. Having had a very short game at Freuchie last Saturday, this one could be even quicker if Lewis Munro and Dian Forrester get first bowl on the track for Shire. Meigle are sitting in 2nd place waiting for Shire to slip up, but they face a potentially tricky tie at home to Freuchie who have Safyaan Sharif back from international duty. With Mayank Bhandari on holiday and Aman Arora still on the injured list, Adi Hegde again skippers Gordonians at Countesswells against the 2nd string of Arbroath. Huntly should retain their 3rd place in the table as Kinloch travel up to Castle Park. 2nd Stoneywood Dyce are at People’s Park against Strathmore, both teams off the back of good wins last weekend against Arbroath and Perth Doocot respectively.
It’s crunch time at the foot of the Eastern Premier League as Falkland take a strong team to Arbroath. Arbroath pro Wihan Lubbe beat Stoneywood Dyce almost single handedly last weekend with an unbeaten century and 6 wickets, and they might need more of the same on a regular basis to escape relegation. 
After their early season heroics, Stoneywood Dyce should be clear of relegation concerns, but their run of recent defeats may well continue as they go to Edinburgh to play Grange who are bolstered by the return of Chris Greaves and Chris Sole. Heriot’s lead the way and will be expected to beat Stewarts Melville. 2nd plays 3rd as Forfarshire look to stay ahead of RH Corstorphine. Michael Leask returns to Forfs duty as they head to Edinburgh to take on the surprise package of the season. In the remaining game Watsonian welcome Carlton.