One of the benefits of having a 19 week season is that on the final week we have a pretty good chance of having all the Grade 1 games covered by CSMOA appointed umpires, an extremely helpful position when 4 of the games have a potential impact on the title and the relegation zone.
It has been a topsy turvy week in Grade 1 with points moving around at the top and bottom in decisions off the pitch. Gordonians had a 5 point deduction for a 9 over spell of bowling recently against Inverurie, this following on from a 10 point deduction for a similar issue involving AGSFPs earlier in the season. Gordos benefitted from Crescent breaching player eligibility on Rule 8.8(a), a game they had lost, but as covered by precedent, the points for Gordos were adjusted to 30, and the points for Crescent reduced to the losing bonus points they would have accrued, less points directly involving the ineligible player.
Whilst Gordonians sit very marginally at the top of Grade 1 going into Super Saturday, if Master Blasters can defeat Aberdeenshire Cup winners Knight Riders at Groats Road, they will move on to 90%, the same figure that Gordonians will get to if they can beat Mannofield at Countesswells. Master Blasters would have a greater ratio of matches won to matches played, and would win Grade 1 on that basis. If Gordonians and Master Blasters both lose then Bon Accord could well overhaul both if they can win against AberGreen at Harlaw. If Master Blasters lose and Gordonians win, then Gordonians take Grade 1. This assumes that no rule breaches crop up during any of the games!
The Cults v Inverurie match at Allan Park is the only game that has no impact on the top or bottom of the table and Inverurie are missing their opening bowling attack of Jordan Thom and Fraser Lawrence.
Knight Riders aren’t far off their Cup winning side as they host Master Blasters. Gordonians are without Harshad Parkar but add Pranav Gollakota who took 6 for 3 against Bon Accord in the first game of the season. Mannofield have the on form John Dickinson but have an obvious gap in their batting with no Indy Yahathugoda and Will Anderson, but a bigger miss might be Andrew Hastie who has been bowling so well for them.
AberGreen can’t escape relegation as they take on Bons, and the winners of the Crescent v Grampian match at Links (1.30pm start) should stay up. Let’s hope everything is finalised on the pitch rather than by protracted emails.
In Grade 2, champions AGSFPs have done well to find 11 players to take on Portcullis at Duthie Park. It looks like they only have 5 recognised bowlers, but sometimes it’s the surprise element that makes a difference.
2nd Knight Riders sit in 2nd place in Grade and will stay there if Fraserburgh and Banchory lose. Banchory will move up to 2nd if they can beat Methlick at Burnett Park. If Banchory lose then Fraserburgh would have the opportunity to go 2nd by beating 2nd Grampian at Inverdee. Also at Inverdee, if Ellon win against 2nd AberGreen and 2nd Grampian lost very heavily, then in theory Ellon could squeeze out of the relegation positions.
2 games in Grade 3 that have no bearing on promotion as a young 2nd Mannofield side head to Lairds to play 2nd Methlick, and Crathie go to People’s Park to play Stoneywood Dyce.
Lots of eyes on Scroggie Park at Falkland as Arbroath United have their Eastern Premier League play off against Edinburgh South.