Cricket: City rivals all set for clash at Goldenacre

Photo: Kate Chandler'Grange v Heriots'Grange's Neil McCallum
Photo: Kate Chandler'Grange v Heriots'Grange's Neil McCallum
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BARCLAY’S WEALTH Grange cricket skipper Neil McCallum says his team will be playing to honour the memory of a much-loved club stalwart when visiting Heriot’s in the East Premiership tomorrow.

This week saw the passing of Margaret McCullim, steward at Grange’s Raeburn Place headquarters.

Said McCallum, capped 134 times by Scotland: “Margaret was a smiling presence always at Grange whether it was a club or international match, a lovely lady.

“She will be particularly missed by the cricket lads.”

While Heriot’s are determined to show that a resurgence which has brought back-to-back victories over Aberdeenshire and Forfarshire is for real, McCallum attaches importance to the derby nature of the contest.

“There is never any problem getting in the right shape to play another local side and matches with Heriot’s are always keenly contested,” said the man who has helped Grange make an unbeaten start with both runs and wickets.

The latest example came at Arbroath last weekend and McCallum said: “Stuart Davidson and Gregor Maiden bowled particularly well as did Andrew Brock, who is unavailable to face Heriot’s.

“Stuart Moffat pulled off a particularly good catch and all our batsmen got themselves in.

“Altogether, we hauled ourselves back from losing the toss on a wicket that had plenty of movement.

“We are hoping for the same spirit from a side which has George Mummsey and Arun Pillai drafted in.”

Heriot’s will still be without skipper Steve Knox as he recovers from an injury to his side and fellow internationalist Sean Weeraratna continues to stand in as captain.

However, Knox, who calls up Calum McDougall to bat No. 9 and contribute medium pace when replacing Kevin McLaren (eye infection), travelled with Heriot’s to Forfarshire last weekend and saw a notable win unfold.

“From 80-0 after 20 overs we slumped to 140-7 and needed an 80-run partnership from Keith Morton and Qasim Ashraf to set a winning total.

“Once we got the fourth wicket down in the Forfarshire reply we began to expose their tail and some good bowling from medium pacers Craig Adams and Keith Allan, who each claimed three wickets, got us through.

“This will be a tougher task against Grange whose batting strength goes deep into their order so that even a run chase, of say, 250 is always well within their compass.

“But we intend to show we are very much back on track,” said Knox.

Joint leaders Watsonians head for Arbroath with a two-change side from the one which overcame Stoneywood Dyce.

Drafted in are Alec Sim and Gus Harris while Fraser Boyd and Mike Legget are absent.

Also missing is knee injury victim James Easton.

Having claimed their first league win at Aberdeenshire’s expense, Carlton head for Forfarshire with Kyle Macpherson and Nick Martin stepping up for the unavailable Steve Gilmour and Preston Mommsen, who has the chance to extend his stint with Leicestershire.

Key figure for Carlton could be Omar Ahmad fresh from a five-wicket haul against the Dons.

In the East First Division, SMRH, who this week officially unveiled a new electronic scoreboard, are bound for Falkland with an unchanged team.

Elsewhere, RH Corstorphine are at Freuchie and Edinburgh Accies head for Fauldhouse.