Heriot’s are consolidating their position as knock-out cricket kings and tomorrow, against Falkland at Goldenacre, can take a major step towards retaining the Scottish Cup.
Skipper Steve Knox, who is able to recall Craig McKellar and Ben Wilkinson for Ali Farooq and James Hearn, believes defeating twenty:20 champions Carlton on their own ground in midweek to reach the Masterton Trophy final against Grange on July 12 is a huge boost.
He said: “Allied to our performances in the Eastern Premier Division, we have reached this stage of the season battling on three fronts and overcoming Falkland tomorrow would put us extremely close to qualifying for the national stages with two group matches remaining.
“Reaching a Masterton final was a tremendous all-round effort given we were without David Ross, James Hearn and Adam Lockhart-Krause and can only help our confidence.”
One of the heroes of that success, Sean Weeraratna, is unavailable to try and add to a five-wicket haul including a hat-trick from his second spell of two overs. However, recent arrival Richard Cummins is proving a real asset.
“Richard has come to work in Edinburgh and helped me put on 60 for the first wicket at Carlton,” said Knox.
“Overall, I thought our total of 127 was about 15-20 runs short but the bowlers rose to the challenge and Andre van Niekerk pulled off an absolutely magnificent catch at short fine leg to remove Fraser Watts.”
When Heriot’s began their defence of the trophy at Falkland, they cruised home by seven wickets with nearly ten overs to spare.
Since then, the Fifers have climbed to Division One so nothing will be taken for granted by a Heriot’s side whose 16-year-old Leith-reared spin bowler Mark Watt is set to be included in the Scotland under-19 squad. Another team with cup hopes firmly in their own hands are SMRH, who entertain West Lothian.
Despite stuttering league form, skipper Greg Bisset knows a cup run is a realistic target.
Says Greg: “Chris Bissett and Tom Beattie return for Ed Pickmere and Raj Augustine while we stick with teenage seamer Ali Khan after he bowled very well against Aberdeenshire last weekend.
“Clydesdale’s game against East Kilbride was rained off at the start of the year which means, if we can beat West Lothian and East Kilbride in the next fortnight, we will go to Titwood for the last game knowing that a win would be enough to top the group and get us through to the quarter-finals.
“Most importantly we want to break our recent losing streak with a win against West Lothian,”
With RH Corstorphine entertaining Carlton at Inverleith on Sunday due to drainage work being carried out at Barnton, the other Capital teams are on the road.
Barclays Grange, well placed to qualify, head for Dundee High and Watsonians will also be looking to complete a double when they visit Freuchie.
Mike Legget returns for Sonians in place of Mark Yellowlees.