New Heriot’s cricket captain Cameron Farrell has given a no-punches-pulled assessment of what the side has to improve on ahead of the new Eastern Premiership season, opening tomorrow with a visit from Autoecosse Forfarshire to Goldenacre.
Says Farrell, whose line-up includes ever-reliables Steve Knox, Sean Weeraratna and Ali Farooq: “Last year we were overly reliant on our top order. Once sides got through our first four or five batsmen it could effectively be game-over for Heriot’s.
“After our exit from the cup mid-season there seemed to be a general malaise that set in and the season somewhat fizzled out. We have therefore set about making the club a stronger all-round proposition.”
To that end, the Scotland under-19 spinner Ryan Brown has been recruited from Largo while all-rounder Iain Worth has joined from Grange, with left-arm seamer Hassan Durrani back from Boroughmuir.
South African bowler Uli Jooste and wicket keeper Max Papworth, from Australia, son of former Wallaby rugby cap Brett Papworth, will continue their cricket development at Goldenacre over the summer and when it is recalled that Mark Watt was included in the Scotland squad to face MCC this week at Lords prospects are understandably bright.
At Grange Loan it is comeback day in more ways than one for Fraser Boyd.
The former Scotland age-group keeper returns for Carlton at home to Aberdeenshire after a two-year stint at Watsonians which was wrecked by a dislocated elbow.
Boyd sustained the injury playing football. However, not only has he recovered but a gap has opened up at his original club due to the retirement of internationalist Jamie Kerr.
Carlton club captain, Fraser Watts, who is unavailable tomorrow says: “A dislocated elbow makes life very difficult for a ’keeper but we are delighted to see Fraser return.
“There have been a few changes over the winter with Hamish Gardiner among those moving on.
“However, another Scotland cap, Ally Evans, has returned from Derbyshire to spearhead the bowling attack and other arrivals include Alex Rajendran, an off spinner who has moved to the Edinburgh area.”
From further afield comes Antipodean Tom Freshwater as overseas amateur and he shared in last weekend’s warm-up victory over Watsonians.
SMRH have also been looking to the Southern Hemisphere ahead of their opening clash at Falkland.
Signed up as pro is Brad Moses, a 30-year-old top order batsman and off spin bowler who plays for Kwa Zulu Natal in South Africa.
Moses, who comes recommended by former SMRH star Jon Kent, has played 75 first class matches at an average of 32.4.
Last season he played for Enfield in Accrington and boasted a Lancashire League batting average of 44.3 as well as taking 44 wickets at an average of 19.1.
SMRH president Bert Barclay, whose club also have South African spinner Kyle McCallum on board as overseas amateur, says:
“Brad’s CV also includes a spell as professional in Holland. As well as playing for the club Brad will be fully engaged in our club’s extensive coaching scheme for both juniors and seniors.”
Further action tomorrow sees Grange heading for champions Arbroath led by Andrew Brock in the absence of Simon Smith, Neil McCallum, Zander Muir and Henry Edwards.
However, Henry Philip has returned from Forfarshire and both Tom Faulds and Calum Berrill have joined from Edinbrugh University
Watsonians await Stoneywood Dyce while in the Baillie Gifford East Champio