As we reach the last 4 weeks of the Grades season, multi team clubs with teams playing in other leagues will be checking the playing rules to ensure they aren’t breaching player eligibility rules. No such issues for single team stalwarts Bon Accord who are at Links with a noon start against Grampian. It is now 7 weeks since the last century from Fazal Awan and this would be a good time for his prolific early season form to kick back in.
Fraser Lawrence returns for Inverurie as they take on Grade 1 leaders Master Blasters at Allan Park, the reverse fixture having gone the way of Inverurie.
Gordonians have quietly crept into 2nd place in Grade 1 but go into their home game against Crescent without all rounder Akhlaq Bashir, but an expectation for wickets from Chamila Perera and Harshad Parkar.
Bottom side AberGreen have only won one league match this season and they might find it difficult to improve on that as Mannofield take an array of batting talent to Harlaw. John Dickinson and Will Anderson come in for Mannofield.
Key to the Knight Riders return to winning ways has been the consistent batting of Gautam Bhatia who has only had one single figure score in his 10 innings this season. They play Cults at Groats Road.
AGSFPs top Grade 2 and should be too strong for 2nd AberGreen. Geoff Morrison and Mike Nattrass are missing for them, but are more than adequately replaced by George Gill and Prasanth Poosappadi.
Methlick have lost 6 in a row and head to 2nd place Fraserburgh in need of a major contribution from someone.
Portcullis always look stronger when they include Ross McKenzie and Kannan Vijayakrishnan but 2nd Knight Riders have become a tough nut to crack recently and this could be a close match at Duthie Park.
2nd Grampian take on Huntly at Inverdee, Huntly having won the reverse fixture by 1 wicket in a relatively low scoring game.
Bottom side Ellon host Banchory in the remaining Grade 2 match.
Grade 3 leaders 2nd Master Blasters play Stonehaven at Inverdee, the latter adding Nigel King and Bryan Snelling to their bowling attack.
2nd Gordonians and 3rd Gordonians are neck and neck in 2nd and 3rd spot in the league. 2nd Gordos host Dunecht and 3rd Gordos are packed full of juniors for their trip to Crathie.
Both teams have new names included as Stoneywood Dyce head to Lairds to play 2nd Methlick.
In the SPCU North East Championship it should be worth watching the game at Mannofield as Perth Doocot, with Safyaan Sharif included, take on Aberdeenshire. Perth sit 3rd and Shire 4th, with those places unlikely to change no matter the winner.
Andrew Petrie and Irtaza Hussain are both missing as 2nd place Huntly host runaway league leaders Arbroath.
Gordonians send a team packed full of junior talent to play 2nd Falkland as they try to fill the big shoes of Abrar Ahmed, Aman Arora and Mayank Bhandari.
The weather forecast isn’t encouraging for that game and the same applies to the Strathmore v Freuchie game at Forfar and the 2nd Forfarshire v Kinloch game at Broughty Ferry.
It’s unlikely that the Eastern Premier League relegation spot will be confirmed until the last game of the season, but Stoneywood Dyce can improve their survival chances if they can beat visitors RH Corstorphine. Jon Grant is included, but no Shaun Wolmarans, Ewan Davidson, Abdullah Khalid or either of their regular keepers, could make this a tough ask.
Heriot’s have Mark Watt in their bowling attack with fellow internationals Gavin Main and Adrian Neill, which means this maybe won’t be a great opportunity for Meigle to pick up a much needed win.
Grange will be popping the champagne if they can beat Forfarshire at home, but that won’t be easy if the likes of Michael Leask and Craig Wallace can hang around with the bat. A heavy dose of the seemingly regular Saturday rainfall in Edinburgh could also settle the title.
Ali Evans is back for Carlton as Falkland head to Edinburgh, and it’s derby time as Stewart’s Melville are the latest team to try to figure out how to minimise the talents of Oli Hairs.
It’s Aberdeenshire Cup semi final time at long last on Sunday for Knight Riders and Crescent. The match is at Groats Road with both teams hoping the weather stays kind so they don’t have to contemplate a bowl off.