Mazars Grange captain Neil McCallum believes his side head into tomorrow’s CSL Eastern Premier Division derby at Carlton coming off the best performance of their season so far.
Last Sunday, the Stockbridge outfit went to Torrance House to take on East Kilbride in the Scottish Cup semi-final and put a comprehensive win under their belts.
After the hosts were bowled out for 173, McCallum joined with George Munsey in a cracking partnership, scoring 64 not out and 89 not out respectively to send Grange home by nine wickets.
McCallum, whose side won the cup last year when they defeated Carlton in the final, said: “I was really pleased with last Sunday. It was really the first time this season when we have bowled, fielded and batted at our best for a whole match this summer and it was a pretty dominant performance.
“It has been quite an inconsistent summer for us at times and we have had some poor starts with the bat, but the guys have dug in well and it says something for the quality we have that we are sitting third in the league, have reached the Scottish Cup final and have won the local Twenty20 event and yet we are still a bit disappointed.”
With a number of players missing this weekend, Grange are likely to call on a number of their second XI for the match – and McCallum believes having that team in the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship has helped many of their younger players.
He explained: “It has exposed some of our young players to a higher standard of cricket each week and when they get their top team chance it should make than transition that bit easier.”
Grange defeated Carlton in the Scottish Cup final last year while so far this term the two sides have played twice.
In the league match at Portgower Place in May, Grange thumped Carlton by seven wickets after bowling them out for just 77.
A few weeks ago in a much closer contest, they also came out on top to lift the Murgitroyd Masterton Trophy title.
As such, you might imagine that Grange would be favourites tomorrow, but Carlton come into this one off a win at Stoneywood-Dyce in Aberdeen.
Eight days ago, when all others saw their matches fall foul of the rain in the top flight, the Grange Loan men won in the north east and their bowling attack can cause bother for most sides when they get their tails up.
It promises to be an interesting encounter, while Heriot’s, who are fourth in the table, take on Stoneywood-Dyce at Goldenacre.
Then 24 hours later, Heriot’s are again in action taking on a Scottish President’s XI as part of the club’s 125th anniversary celebrations.
SMRH host leaders Aberdeenshire at Inverleith, with Watsonians on the road to Falkland.
In the Championship, RH Corstorphine host West Lothian and will be looking for another win to keep the pressure on unbeaten leaders Glenrothes.
Holy Cross travel to Academy Park to take on Murrayfield DAFS, with the former having won the Parks Trophy in midweek.
In that final against Marchmont at Newfield, Raja Javed was the star, scoring 51 with the bat and then taking four wickets as they won the Twenty20 match by 22-runs.
Also in the Championship division, Mazars Grange II take on Carlton II, while Stuart & Stuart host Edinburgh South.
The match of the day in East One sees Heriot’s II travelling to Gala trying to keep title hopes alive.