Masterton organisers seek delay to national finals

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Organisers of the annual Murgitroyd Masterton twenty:20 
cricket competition are pushing 
to have national finals scheduled for Sunday, July 29 delayed so as to reduce the possibility of local qualifiers being completed using bowl-outs.

Rain which has brought the domestic scene to a virtual standstill has played particular havoc with the restricted overs version.

Nevertheless, that competition 
has reached the semi-final stage with Carlton hoping to entertain Grange tonight while Watsonians must receive SMRH by next Wednesday. If Carlton’s ground at Grange Loan again proves unplayable then an extension will be offered but, as things stand, the final is set for next Friday in order to fit in with a national timetable.

“I’ve written to Cricket Scotland asking whether the national final can be put back and feedback is also being sought about the other three regional qualifiers,” says East Masterton organiser, Greig Hopcraft.

Clubs are understandably keen to avoid the lottery of a bowl-out with £500 at stake locally and another £1000 on offer to the national champions.

Hopcraft admitted: “Clubs are looking for revenue across the bar but I appreciate fading light might make changes to the schedule difficult.”

Meanwhile, the final fixtures in the group stage of the Scottish Cup are due tomorrow with some big names facing an early exit if their ties cannot proceed.

For example, although Barclays Wealth Grange have won both matches so far, they are desperately trying to find a venue at which to entertain Uddingston in the knowledge that Renfrew could leapfrog them were they to overcome Fauldhouse.

Grange skipper Neil McCallum says: “Our own ground has been badly flooded and, although Fettes College have come to our aid, their facilities won’t dry out before next week.

“Our last option appears to be trying to take the game to Loretto School, which is being investigated.”

Grange have selected a team which has Sanjay Patel, Stuart Moffat, Giles Holmes among those missing but with opportunities for Jamie Burton and Duncan Player.

For Watsonians, Paddy Saddler 
makes a timely return with Andy Learmonth away but skipper Stuart Chalmers admites: “Myreside is saturated.”

’Sonians would go through alongside Heriot’s if their visit to Ferguslie is off.

But Heriot’s skipper Steve Knox says: “We just want to play even with a few regulars unavailable. Colin Thomson and Mark Watt are due to step up.”

Carlton are due at Poloc and their run-rate should prove insurance against a Greenock win over Falkland and see them through.

Neither SMRH, Edinburgh Accies or RH Corstorphine have any hope of progressing but host Prestwick, Stirling and East Kilbride respectively.