Bowler Hamish MacLeod is set to return to the Heriot’s first XI for their CSL Eastern Premiership clash with Carlton tomorrow after he impressed by taking eight wickets for the second team last weekend.
MacLeod, the younger brother of Heriot’s wicketkeeper Charlie, joined the club at the start of the season and made his top-team debut on the opening weekend in the loss to Auto ecosse Forfarshire.
He took two wickets in that match with his medium pacers, but with other players returning to the fold he was in the seconds last week. In that Baillie Gifford East One match against St Boswells he took the amazing figures of 8-21 from 9.5 overs – including three maidens – to help Heriot’s II win by two wickets.
And now he is set to return to Keith Morton’s first team for the Capital derby at Goldenacre. Also coming into the XI is another youngster, former George Heriot’s schoolboy Chris Acheson, and he will be part of the batting unit. They replace the injured Kevin McLaren and the unavailable Pete Ross as Heriot’s look to build on last week’s victory over Stoneywood-Dyce.
Skipper Morton said: “After our opening day loss to Forfarshire when we came up against a batsman [Craig Wallace] in some form, I was pleased with the way that the team played last week. A number of batsmen chipped in with good scores while, as a bowling unit, we performed a lot better than the week before.
“We knew that we had four home matches in a row to start the campaign and with tomorrow’s match the third in that run we are focused on performing well against Carlton.
“They are a good side and they have started the summer pretty well, but I am pleased with the competition for places we have in our squad this season and we will just concentrate on our own performance.”
Morton, who is in his second stint at Heriot’s having returned from Stuart&Stuart Penicuik over the winter, took five wickets last week and, with fellow spinner Mark Watt taking three scalps, the duo will again be key tomorrow.
As mentioned, the experienced McLaren is missing through injury and it is not yet known how long he will be out for. Last week he dislocated his knee whilst batting, but carried on pretty much on one leg to complete his half century.
Carlton head to Goldenacre on the back of good wins in the league over Arbroath and RH Corstorphine. In the corresponding fixture last season a superb 134 not out from Fraser Watts and a battling 91 from Rory McCann set Carlton on the way to a 13-run victory despite a valiant run chase by Heriot’s.
Along the road in Stockbridge at Portgower Place, there is another derby tomorrow.
Unbeaten Mazars Grange take on RH Corstorphine, who are still looking for their first win since promotion.
And at Myreside Watsonians host last year’s champions Aberdeenshire with the hosts also eager to get their first victory of 2015.
Meanwhile, SMRH captain Brad Moses has praised the way the young players in his team have got used to playing first XI cricket so quickly in the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship. The Inverleith side have won their first two matches since relegation from the top flight and tomorrow are at Cavalry Park to face Marchmont.
The likes of Elliot Ruthven, who has arrived from St Boswells where he scored more than 500 runs and took 13 league wickets in 2014, and Australians Liam Barrett and Joshua Chapman, have started the season well.
And South African Moses said: “Having dropped down a league it is a good chance for us to expose some young players to first-team cricket, but we know that every match will be tough and we need to stay focused.”
Elsewhere in the division Carlton II host Edinburgh, Holy Cross travel to Midlothian to take on Penicuik while Murrayfield DAFS and Mazars Grange II are both on the road to Freuchie and Glenrothes respectively.
In East One, the match of the day looks set to be at Goldenacre where Heriot’s II, with one win from one, take on Musselburgh who have two wins from three to date.