Two Capital cricket clubs will meet in this Sunday’s showpiece Scottish Cup final in Stirling with both eager to earn silverware – and the bragging rights that goes with it.
When Barclays Grange and Carlton clash at New Williamsfield (noon start) it promises to be a thrilling encounter and follows on from another all-Edinburgh final last year when Cameron Farrell-inspired Heriot’s defeated Watsonians.
The clubs have a rivalry that stretches back for decades and no doubt many ex-players from both sides will be making the trip through to Stirling to see who comes out on top.
The teams have met once this season on CSL Eastern Premier Division duty, the other game having been rained out, and in that one Grange came out on top by 18 runs via the D/L method.
Having safely navigated their way through Group G which included Renfrew, Greenock and Dundee HSFP, Grange have since had two tough knock-out matches to get this far.
In the quarter-final against Aberdeenshire they posted 271-8 batting first only for the visiting pro Harsha Cooray to get his side within 10 runs thanks to a superb 115.
They survived though and the Arbroath semi-final was one of the best matches of the season.
Than an amazing assault on the Arbroath bowling at Portgower Place by big-hitting Stuart Davidson, finishing on 44 not out, saw them win by one wicket when defeat had looked on the cards.
Vice-captain Andrew Brock said: “Most of us were too scared to watch into the closing overs as we feared the worst, but we managed to get through and we all ran on to the pitch to celebrate – it was an amazing feeling.
“Then we heard that Carlton had won their semi and ever since then we have been thinking about the final, to play one of your local rivals at this stage is special.”
Grange go into the match on a high having won the Murgitroyd T20 national event at Poloc last Sunday and in the final they will be looking to openers George Munsey and Ryan Flannigan to get them off to a good start with the bat. They bat deep too and the experienced Davidson is likely to earn a place in the XI.
With the ball Raj Routray and Josh Edwards have been in good form of late. Carlton’s players, too, are excited about the match, but before that they aim to keep their CSL Eastern Premier Division title hopes alive tomorrow, needing to beat leaders Arbroath at Grange Loan to do so.
And having never won the Scottish Cup in their 150-year history, they will be desperate to come out of the weekend with two wins and some silverware in the trophy cabinet.
In the quarter-finals of the cup they beat Drumpellier and in the last four they saw off Clydesdale. Captain Preston Mommsen said: “We know what a big weekend this is for the club and we are all excited about it. Firstly our minds are focused on Arbroath, but come Saturday evening that will switch to Grange and I envisage two good matches.
“We obviously know the Grange guys well and whatever XI we select we will be going all out to get our hands on the trophy.”
For the weekend Mommsen will sit out tomorrow through injury while they have named a squad of 13 for Sunday and he is confident he will be able to lead his side out.
Elsewhere in the CSL Eastern Premier Division tomorrow, Grange take on SMRH while Heriot’s and Watsonians face bus trips to Aberdeenshire and Stoneywood-Dyce respectively. In the CSL Eastern First Division, Penicuik host Freuchie tomorrow with RH Corstorphine taking on West Lothian on Sunday.
In the East Leagues tomorrow there are a number of promotion and relegation issues to be decided.
Scottish Cup final squads:
Barclays Grange from: Neil McCallum (captain), Andrew Brock, George Munsey, Ryan Flannigan, Gregor Maiden, Henry Edwards, Zander Muir, Gordon Goudie, Simon Smith, Chris Sole, Raj Routray, Josh Edwards, Stuart Davidson and Iain Worth.
Carlton from: Preston Mommsen (captain), Omar Ahmad, Mo Ahmed, Fraser Allardice, Gordon Drummond, Hamish Gardiner, Chayank Gosain, Jamie Kerr, Kyle Macpherson, Rory McCann, Kyle Stirling, Rob Thornton and Fraser Watts.