‘Winner takes all’ as city rivals bid for championship

Former SMRH captain Brad Moses has returned to boost their title bid

Former SMRH captain Brad Moses has returned to boost their title bid

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With Carlton having secured the CSL Eastern Premiership title last weekend, attention tomorrow turns to the ‘winner takes all’ clash between SMRH and RH Corstorphine at the top of the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship.

A few weeks ago it looked like SMRH were going to win the division with room to spare, but a couple of recent defeats by Edinburgh and Kelso has meant that RH Corstorphine have kept up the pressure.

As a result the two sides meet at Inverleith this afternoon with the winner set to be crowned champions of the second tier.

That team will then go forward to a promotion play-off match with a side from the Strathmore & Perthshire Union on September 3 to battle it out for a place in the Premiership for 2017.

SMRH skipper Greg Ruthven said: “We always knew it could come down to this and the guys are focused on going out there and putting in a good performance.

“We have to forget about our recent defeats and look at this game as a one-off. RH Corstorphine have been on a good run, but we are at home and we want to play the cricket we know we are capable of.”

Former SMRH captain Brad Moses returned to the club a few weeks ago as cover after Tom Beaton and another overseas player headed home and he is named in the side along with Steven Parker and Michael Miller.

Having Parker and Miller back in the XI is a boost for Ruthven, the former being a consistent wicketkeeper/batsman and the latter having played for the Eastern Knights earlier this summer.

RH Corstorphine captain Joe Kinghorn-Gray has named an unchanged side from the one that beat Mazars Grange II a fortnight ago.

Key men for them will include overseas player Daniel Payne (576 runs), Kinghorn-Gray (33 wickets) and Freddie Young (22 wickets).

The captain said: “The guys have done well to give ourselves this chance and now we have to go out there and give it one last big effort.”

Meanwhile, Carlton will be officially presented with the top-flight trophy when they take on already relegated Stoneywood-Dyce at Grange Loan tomorrow.

Captain Steve Gilmour has named the same XI that secured top spot last week without a ball being bowled at Aberdeenshire.

Second-placed Watsonians host Glenrothes at Myreside. They are boosted by the return of skipper Ewan Chalmers as well as former Scotland bowler Dewald Nel, the latter having missed most of the summer through injury.

Mazars Grange finish at Forfarshire, Alex Baum captaining with Andrew Brock unavailable and Avinash Yadav in for Ryan Flannigan.

Heriot’s are at Falkland, Steve Knox and Bahauddin Ali coming in.