Mistakes could be fatal for Capital title contenders

Heriot's captain  Keith Morton returns
Heriot's captain Keith Morton returns
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Mazars Grange and Heriot’s both know they require near flawless months if they are to have a chance of challenging Arbroath for the CSL Eastern Premiership title.

Both sides are back in action tomorrow in round 15 of fixtures and they have dusted themselves down after last weekend’s losses to Watsonians and Glenrothes.

With Arbroath winning on the same day it has created a gap at the top of the table, but as previous seasons show it is not over until the final ball is bowled.

For example, who can forget the dramatic final day of the season two years ago when Grange won and Arbroath lost meaning that the title headed to Portgower Place.

Having said that, Arbroath are in the driving seat, but with determined characters such as Preston Mommsen and Keith Morton leading Grange, and Heriot’s they will not give up.

Tomorrow Grange, who last week gave a first appearance of the season to former Scotland bowler John Blain, are at home to SMRH.

The encounter may come too soon for Dylan Budge, Grange’s injured all-rounder, but they will hope to have him fit for next week’s crucial meeting with Arbroath.

SMRH will make the short trip to Stockbridge in fine fettle having all but secured their place in the top flight for 2018 with a victory last week over Falkland.

It means that they have three wins and sit in ninth while the Fifers are still winless at the bottom. Only one team is relegated.

Like their previous two wins this summer last week’s home victory owed much to the brilliance of Shaylen Pillay. His 123 not out means that the South African has hit 489 league runs this summer as well as taking 17 wickets. He will again be key against a Grange bowling attack led well by James Tapper.

Heriot’s were a bit short-handed for the trip to Glenrothes eight days ago, but skipper Morton and another couple of players return to the XI for the home clash with Carlton.

As well as Morton, the experienced Craig Mackellar and all-rounder Michael Shean are involved but Michael Evans, Jed Case and Ali Farooq dropping out.

Carlton travel to Goldenacre off the back of a comprehensive victory at Aberdeenshire and with players still battling for spots in the team for the Citylets Scottish Cup final on August 20.

Watsonians, in fifth, host leaders Arbroath and could do Grange and Heriot’s a favour. Home skipper Ewan Chalmers, his brother Andrew, Olly Brown and Andrew Hislop return to the team, but last week’s match winner Andy McKay is missing.

Tayside Group Forfarshire also play Glenrothes and Falkland take on Aberdeenshire.

Second plays first in the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship with Edinburgh hosting RH Corstorphine at Campbell Park in what should be a very interesting contest.