Chris Ashforth refocuses after the biggest innings of his career
Chris Ashforth played the most important innings of his cricket career last Sunday '“ and now the Heriot's man has refocused ahead of a busy six weeks to come.
The Goldenacre men were in a bit of bother against Arbroath in the Citylets Scottish Cup semi-final at Goldenacre until Ashforth, the 23-year-old, hit 89 from just 54 balls to re-ignite their run chase.
When he was the fifth man out the Capital side were on 281 and Michael Shean and Sean Weeraratna – with a six – saw them home to their victory target of 288 and into the final on August 19 in Paisley against Mazars Grange.
For Ashforth, it was his best contribution in Heriot’s colours since he joined the club over the winter from Penicuik.
Having been with the Midlothian club since he was a junior and gone on to be first XI captain, it was a big decision to move on, but he felt that the timing was right.
“I loved my time at Penicuik, it is my local club and the one I grew up at with all my mates, so it will always hold special memories for me,” Ashforth, who is set to head to Glasgow in September to complete his teacher training, stated.
“However, I wanted to test myself at a higher level and with my good friend Keith Morton the captain at Heriot’s when the chance came over the winter to make the move it felt right.
“Due to my friendship with Keith and having played with him before at Penicuik I knew that Heriot’s had a good team spirit and were a great bunch of boys, the way they battled to win the top-flight title last summer showed everyone that.
“Coming into the first XI here there was a bit of pressure because expectations here are higher and each week we are playing against good sides.
“I found it quite tricky to score runs at the start of the season, but the guys kept backing me and did not let my head go down and that meant a lot.
“As a result it meant a lot to me to score those runs last Sunday in the Cup because the team needed me to step up – and I delivered.
“Hopefully I can now kick on from here and it is very exciting that we have so much left to play for during the remainder of the season.”
Ashforth’s match-winning innings five days ago earned him a call-up to the Eastern Knights development squad for the four-way T20 event with the Western Warriors, the Caledonian Highlanders and Ulster Schools on Wednesday.
Those games were played in Stirling while last night Ashforth and Co were set to host RH Corstorphine in the Masterton Trophy semi-final.
On July 29 they have the national T20 finals day at Poloc and then the aforementioned Scottish Cup final next month but, on the agenda in the immediate future, is a home CSL Eastern Premier Division clash with Forfarshire tomorrow.
Second placed Heriot’s slipped up at Carlton six days ago and know they must win today to keep the pressure up on leaders Mazars Grange.
Heriot’s have Shean and Peter Ross back for this weekend’s league outing.
Grange are also at home and they welcome bottom side Glenrothes to Portgower Place.
With players having put their hands up in Scottish Cup and Masterton Trophy matches this week, the Grange XI is still to be decided. In-form Carlton are on the road to Arbroath.
Watsonians and RH Corstorphine meet at Myreside with Stewart’s Melville hosting Aberdeenshire.