SMRH are finally off the mark in the Eastern cricket premiership and South African pro Brad Moses hopes tomorrow’s home encounter with Mazars Grange can see them gain a psychological edge over their near neighbours.
In eight days’ time, the teams meet again in a Scottish Cup quarter-final, albeit at Raeburn Place, and by then Moses intends real momentum to have been generated.
In contrast to the Scottish Cup when Drumpellier and Greenock have been dispatched, SMRH’s form has been poor.
But a morale-boosting victory at Stoneywood Dyce last weekend saw the league duck broken and Moses says: “In cricket things can change very quickly. It is mainly a confidence thing and there is a good team unity.”
Moses himself upped the ante last week with his best bowling figures since arriving at Inverleith of 3-16 off three overs and there have been occasional cameo innings with the bat, such as 68 against Drumpellier and 43 against Falkland on debut.
But potential remains considerable having once shared a South African provincial team dressing-room with England Test star Kevin Pietersen, who was always willing to offer assistance, says Moses.
“KP came to my Dolphins team along with another England player, with Ravi Bophara,and around that time I was really smoking the ball in averaging not far short of 100 with the bat.”
Pietersen is a controversial figure who has fallen out of favour with the England management and is now in an international wilderness.
But Moses says: “You take people as you find them and any time I tried to pick KP’s brains on cricket matters he was really helpful.
“At that time I thought I might have been close to climbing the ladder. Mostly he reinforced the view that success comes from working hard and keeping things simple.”
All-rounder Moses has not been afraid to travel in pursuing cricketing dreams.
“I can’t complain about Scottish conditions because the first time I went abroad it was to play for Coleraine in Ireland.
“I’ve also had a spell in Holland as well as at the Enfield club in Lancashire.”
That was last season where he averaged more than 40 for an outfit previously served by the likes of Eddie Paynter, a member of the infamous England “bodyline” bowling team, West Indian greats Conrad Hunte and Clyde Walcott as well as Australian Shane Lee.
“The standard in Lancashire was really high but coming to Scotland I’ve found a lot of good youngsters keen to learn.
“Coaching forms a large part of my job and it is something that gives me a lot of satisfaction,” says the man whose appointment was endorsed by Jon Kent, a South African one day internationalist who also represented Scotland as a hired hand while pro-ing at SMRH.
Meanwhile, the Premiership reaches the halfway stage tomorrow and Grange will be hoping for a more solid batting performance than that which saw six batsmen in the pavilion inside the first 35 minutes of a subsequent defeat at Aberdeenshire.
Heriot’s await Watsonians to Goldenacere and Carlton’s home encounter with Forfarshire could see a return to the crease for Scotland cap Hamish Gardiner following a spell down south.
Gardiner has continued to travel north for representative fixtures but any prospect of turning out at club level has been blocked until this week when it was expected he would get the green light to resume.
Although Gordon Drummond is expected to remain sidelined by a calf injury there is a more formidable look to the Carlton batting, especially with Fraser Watts carrying his bat for a chanceless 134 not out in last weekend’s win at Heriot’s.
In the Baillie Gifford Championship, RH Corstorphine hope to resume their challenge after back-to-back rain-offs when they visit Murrayfield/DAFS.
Also in the Capital, Holy Cross await Carlton 2nds, while there are road trips for Grange 2nds, Stuart & Stuart Penicuik, and Edinburgh South when they visit, respectively, Freuchie, Glenrothes and West Lothian.