Struggling Corstorphine confident of a comeback

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As they prepare to welcome Carlton to East Barnton Avenue tomorrow, there is still a great team spirit in the RH Corstorphine dressing-room and a belief they can avoid relegation from the CSL Eastern Premiership in the coming weeks.

After ten rounds of fixtures in the top flight Pete Steindl’s men sit bottom and are yet to win a match.

However, performances in recent weeks have been much improved and Watsonians are only just above them with one victory.

There are still eight matches to play and RH Corstorphine know more than most that the season is not over until the last ball is bowled – after all they clinched the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship title on a dramatic final day last summer.

Club spokesman Robert Drummond said: “The players’ heads have certainly not gone down, they are very upbeat and know that they have come close to victories, but ultimately have just not been able to get over the line.

“Everyone knew that this division would be a big step up in standard, but the young players have been enjoying testing themselves against the best, while the two Australian players that we have have settled in well and have brought a lot to the team.

“The second and third XIs have been going well and overall the club is in good health and we continue to give youth its chance at every opportunity.”

Corstophine’s Australians are Jake Marnie and Daniel Payne and since they moved to opening the batting and coming in at number three respectively they have looked more comfortable in Scottish conditions.

Tomorrow they take on a Carlton side who had mixed fortunes last weekend.

On Saturday they lost to Arbroath, but bounced back 24 hours later to see off Kelburne in the Scottish Cup quarter-final.

With Preston Mommsen in the Scotland camp preparing for the World T20 qualifiers that start in the Capital next week and Hamish Gardiner unavailable, the club’s young talent will once again get the chance to impress.

The likes of Scotland under-17 all-rounder Olly Brown and batsman Ali Shah, who has scored nearly 400 runs for the second XI this summer, come into the team.

And although he will not be involved, Scotland batsman Gardiner is confident that the team can get a result.

“The great thing about Carlton is that we have so many good young players pushing us hard for places so when guys are unavailable and such like the team does not suffer much as a result,” he said.

“We saw that a couple of weeks back when the young guys stepped up to the plate to help us beat Watsoniansy.”

Gardiner played in the 50-over World Cup for Scotland earlier this year, but has not been selected for the World T20 qualifiers.

The likes of Mazars Grange’s George Munsey have been preferred to open the batting, but Gardiner said: “I have been pleased with the progress I have made with Scotland and although disappointed not to be playing in the Twenty20 matches I really think the guys can go out there over the next fortnight and do a good job.”

Elsewhere in the top flight leaders Grange head to second-placed Arbroath for a tasty encounter while Heriot’s are at Stoneywood-Dyce and Watsonians travel to Falkland. Top match in the Championship is set to be Carlton II against Holy Cross, while in East One West Lothian take on Musselburgh.