Watsonians shuffle pack for key clash with Grange

Watsonians have recalled batsman Mike Carson for tomorrow's crucial CSL Eastern Premiership clash with Mazars Grange at Myreside.

Friday, 12th August 2016, 5:30 am
Watsonians are hoping to peg back leaders Grange with a victory over Grange this weekend. Pic: Neil Hanna

The two sides go into the match in second and third place in the table respectively – and with just three weeks of the season to go, they both know they need a victory to keep their title hopes alive.

Carlton are now in pole position to end the summer as champions, but neither Watsonians or Grange will be giving up until it is arithmetically impossible to catch them.

Carson played for Watsonians in a couple of early-season matches, scoring 72 not out in a win over Stoneywood-Dyce, but was then sidelined by injury.

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He returned to action for the second XI a few weeks ago and after scoring a century against Heriot’s II in late July, he has been brought back into the top team for this one.

Carson comes in for the unavailable Andrew Fraser-Harris and skipper Ewan Chalmers knows that his team’s batting must improve.

“In the last couple of weeks we haven’t batted as we know that we can and it is up to the top order to score some runs this weekend,” Chalmers said.

“The Carlton loss last time out was very disappointing and we have it all to do now to finish top, but we just have to give it our best shot over the next three weeks.”

Grange travel across town with four changes to the XI that defeated Heriot’s in a close encounter eight day ago.

With Preston Mommsen and Chris Sole on Scotland duty and Gordon Goudie and Andrew Appleton unavailable due to holidays, captain Andrew Brock has shuffled his pack, with Ruan Flannigan, Scott Blain, Fin McCreath and Avinash Yadav coming in.

Leaders Carlton are at home to Arbroath and they have Hugo Southwell returning along with Omar Ahmad. Ali Evans is with Scotland and Calum Everett is unlucky to drop out of the XI.

Carlton skipper Steve Gilmour said: “The win against Watsonians gave us all a boost in confidence and now we must kick on from there and focus on this match.”

Elsewhere, Heriot’s make the trip to Glenrothes.

In the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship, leaders SMRH will be looking to bounce back from their first defeat.

They host Kelso at Inverleith with second placed RH Corstorphine away to Mazars Grange II and third placed Carlton II on the road to Dunnikier.