Bowlers in the spotlight when Heriot’s and Watsonians clash

Scotland prospect and Heriots bowler Adrian Neill bowled out the entire Watsonians team at Myreside
Scotland prospect and Heriots bowler Adrian Neill bowled out the entire Watsonians team at Myreside
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Two bowlers who have made fine starts to their respective careers at Edinburgh clubs will be key in tomorrow’s Watsonians v Heriot’s derby at Myreside.

Former New Zealand internationalist Andy McKay has taken six wickets in three CSL Eastern Premiership matches for Watsonians since arriving from his homeland.

And Adrian Neill, who moved to Heriot’s from Aberdeenshire just before the season began, has taken eight wickets in four league outings for the Goldenacre men.

Neill, a 22-year-old Scotland hopeful, also has extra reason to be looking forward to the trip across town because when he last played at Myreside he took an amazing ten wickets.

That was in early May last year when the tall seamer’s 10-31 gave Aberdeenshire a thumping seven-wicket victory against Watsonians.

As a result the Watsonians batsmen will be wary as he comes in to bowl, but with both sides having made a good start to the summer it promises to be an intriguing contest.

Watsonians have won their two completed league matches to sit top of the fledgling table and McKay wants the side to kick on.

The 36-year-old said: “I have been loving life at Watsonians so far this summer. We have managed to secure good wins against Forfarshire and Stoneywood Dyce, but we lost to Grange in both the Scottish Cup and the Masterton and we want to start performing consistently.

“There are some really good cricketers at the club and when everyone is settled and fulfilling their role in the team then I think we can go on and have a good summer.

“I have played in Scotland before and knew what the early season conditions would be like. I have been pleased to pick up a few wickets, but as long as I am contributing to the team then I’m happy.”

Heriot’s have won three of four completed league matches and Neill is enjoying life in new surroundings.

“I was keen to try and move to Edinburgh because I am involved in wider Scotland squad training on Wednesdays and Thursdays and it was a long way to travel from Aberdeen,” he explained.

“I knew a few of the Heriot’s guys before I came here and there is a good buzz around the team with a young core. We have had a good start, but everyone focuses on other clubs and we will just keep going about our business quietly and working hard.”

Top-four batsmen Brendan O’Connell and Andrew Fraser-Harris return for Watsonians with Richard Cummine replacing the unavailable Steve Knox for Heriot’s.

Carlton have a number of experienced players returning as they aim to bounce back from a loss at Forfarshire. Back in are Rory McCann, Hugo Southwell, Fraser Watts, Mario Olivier and Omar Ahmad along with wicketkeeper Fraser Boyd who returns from injury. They are taking on Falkland at Grange Loan.

Mazars Grange defeated Edinburgh in the Murgitroyd Masterton Trophy in midweek and they are on the road to Stoneywood Dyce.

For the trip Ryan Flannigan’s return to the battling line-up is timely with Neil McCallum unavailable.

Aberdeenshire host Glenrothes with Forfarshire at Arbroath.

In the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship the top two meet with Edinburgh away to RH Corstorphine. Neither team has lost a completed league match yet this term, so something will have to give.

SMRH are third and they welcome Stuart&Stuart Penicuik to Inverleith looking for a fourth win on the spin.

Marchmont got their first win of the season last weekend and they are taking on Carlton II.

Mazars Grange II host Kelso with Holy Cross making the trip to Dunnikier.