With the final month of the domestic cricket season getting underway tomorrow, Mazars Grange still have a league and cup double in their sights. And in-form all-rounder Tom Sole is determined to play his part.
The Stockbridge outfit have five matches left in all competitions during August and they know that if they win them all then the CSL Eastern Premiership title and the Scottish Cup trophy would be theirs.
Last weekend, Sole, 19, helped them to record two wins in two days. Firstly, his 82 not out and five wickets saw them past Autoecosse Forfarshire in the league and then 34 and one wicket helped them defeat old rivals Carlton in the cup’s last four.
He was rewarded with a call-up to the Scotland development squad to play against a Yorkshire Academy and, on Wednesday, he hit 92 with the bat at Wheetwood Hall on day one of a two-day game.
Today, he will be heading back to the Capital to prepare for Grange’s league trip to Stoneywood-Dyce tomorrow.
“I have really enjoyed this week,” said Sole, the youngest son of former Scotland rugby captain David.
“On Saturday when I came in to bat at number six we still had plenty of overs left so I just played myself in sensibly, built up an innings and then in the last ten overs went for some big shots and tried to get us up to a good total.
“To take five wickets with the ball was a bonus and that evening after the match we were all buzzing for the cup match at Grange Loan the next day.
“In that one it was quite a tough wicket to bat on, but the team remained patient and we knew that 216-8 was a pretty good total batting first. The rain obviously came in Carlton’s reply and, by that stage, we had done enough to win.”
After tomorrow’s tricky trip north, Grange have three home league matches left and the cup final against Arbroath in Stiring.
Sole, who has also had trials down south on the county circuit this summer, said: “The whole team has been enjoying our cricket this season. At times, we have won comfortably and, at times, we have had to grind out results and, over the next month, we will be giving it everything to make sure that we lift some silverware.
“The great thing about the squad is that it is not just about eleven guys – the others who come in when players are unavailable are also more than capable of playing at that level.”
Last week, Stoneywood-Dyce were thumped by Carlton in the Capital but, at home, they are a more dangerous outfit and, with them all but safe from relegation, they will be out to cause an upset.
While Andrew Brock’s men are at Peoples Park, closest rivals Arbroath are at home to RH Corstorphine.
RHC are still winless and, if they do not win tomorrow and other results go against them, their relegation would be confirmed soon.
Carlton, who are awaiting any slip-ups by Grange or Arbroath to keep their title hopes going, are on the road to Aberdeenshire.
Meanwhile, at Goldenacre, Heriot’s are set to be without skipper Keith Morton as they take on a resurgent Watsonians, who have won their last two league outings.
In the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship, Murrayfield DAFS know they need wins quickly to try and avoid the drop, but they are away to unbeaten leaders Glenrothes. Marchmont, who have slipped to third bottom, host Holy Cross.
In East One, Heriot’s II host leaders Kelso.