Heriot’s confident ahead of derby match with Sonians

Peter Ross is a batsman as well as coach at Heriot's

Peter Ross is a batsman as well as coach at Heriot's

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Heriot’s Peter Ross has been pleased with his team’s start to the summer while Aman Bailwal is set to make his league debut for Watsonians in the clash between the two clubs tomorrow.

The CSL Eastern Premiership derby promises to be a good one at Goldenacre with Heriot’s having won two matches from three in all competitions this summer and Watsonians three from three.

And when you throw into the mix the fact that Heriot’s dented Watsonians’ title hopes in the corresponding encounter last July then it should be an entertaining afternoon.

Ross, the batsman who also coaches Heriot’s, has scored 140 league runs in two outings so far, the side defeated in a tight one at Mazars Grange on the opening day before bouncing back against Tayside Group Forfarshire six days ago.

The 24-year-old said: “We have been quite pleased with how we have started 2017 and continuity has been key for us.

“Over the last couple of seasons we have built up a good squad and a lot of the players now have quite a few first-team matches under their belts.

“We played well at times against Grange a couple of weeks ago and that could have gone either way while I thought we put in a solid all-round performance at Forfarshire to get a win.

“To get our Masterton campaign off with a victory over Marchmont last week was also pleasing and we go into this weekend feeling in a good place.

“We know that Watsonians are a good team, but we beat them at Goldenacre last year and hopefully we can repeat that as we enjoy playing at home.”

Ross also paid tribute to Heriot’s skipper Keith Morton who took his 100th wicket for the club last week.

“Keith is a very good captain out on the pitch and I think we work well together and have a good understanding,” Ross said of the spinner.

“The team spirit here is great and Keith plays a big part in that.”

For the match Heriot’s have Sean Weeraratna – who scored 63 not out in this one last year – back in place of the unavailable Steve Knox.

Watsonians have Brendan O’Connell and Dewald Nel returning while Bailwal, who has played for Scotland ‘A’ in his time, has joined from Forfarshire.

The latter made his Sonians debut in the Masterton win over Edinburgh Accies last week and has had a busy few days ahead of his league bow.

“I was down playing at Lord’s earlier this week with MCC Scotland,” the 25-year-old explained.

“We defeated MCC East Anglia in the semi-finals of the T20 event and then were just edged out in the final by MCC South East.

“Nevertheless, to play at such a famous place as Lord’s with other Scottish cricketers was great and an experience I won’t forget.

“As for the move to Watsonians, well I had been at Forfarshire since my youth, but in recent years I have lived in Edinburgh and I know a few of the Watsonians guys so it seemed a good fit.

“I have really enjoyed being at Myreside so far and the guys have started the summer well so I am looking forward to this Heriot’s match as they are a good side too.”

Unbeaten Grange will be in action along the road at Portgower Place against Forfarshire while Carlton are hosting Falkland.

Carlton have young Tom Simpson coming back into the team after 78 runs for the second XI last week while Omar Ahmad also returns.

SMRH are on the road to Glenrothes.

In the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship tomorrow Mazars Grange II take their unbeaten record to Cavalry Park to play Marchmont.

And on Sunday a number of local clubs are in Citylets Scottish Cup action with SMRH meeting Carlton at Inverleith and Marchmont hosting Ferguslie, the Capital side having won a recent preliminary round to get there.