Title destiny in Grange’s hands as SNCL reaches end of the road
Forthill win will ensure another crown
GRANGE skipper Sanjay Patel and his players know that a victory at Forfarshire’s Forthill ground this afternoon will see them clinch their sixth SNCL Premier Division title since 2000.
And Patel, who captained the Edinburgh club to the trophy two years ago, believes it will be testament to his players’ battling spirit if they can come out on top after an intriguing campaign.
At the start of the season they were short of bowlers and without a pro after an injury to Warren McSkimming, but they knuckled down and won their first six matches and have not looked back.
Patel said: “We are focused on finishing the job now. the guys have been brilliant for me all season and although we know Forfarshire is a tough place to go we are confident we can complete the job.”
Winning the trophy would also be extra special for Patel, whose father passed away just days before their second match of the summer at Grange Loan against Carlton.
today Grange are at full strength with a late decision being taken on whether Giles Holmes travels as his wife is due to give birth soon. If the all-rounder does not head north, young South African Ian Worth will step up.
Meanwhile, challengers Watsonians know a win over Dunfermline Knights at McKane Park coupled with a Grange loss would hand them their first SNCL Premier Division crown.
And captain Steve Paige has backed stand-in wicketkeeper Ben Fox to perform well in the absence of regu- lar glovesman unavailable.
Fox has not played in the top flight yet this term, but played two matches in 2009 and is on a high having clinched the East League Division One title with the club’s second XI last weekend.
Paige said: “Ben is more than capable of stepping up to this level and it is an exciting opportunity for him. We also have Ryan Flannigan back from Scotland duty, which is a big boost to our batting line-up.
“We cannot think about what is going on elsewhere, we just have to concentrate on making sure we all work hard and play to a high standard to get a win against Dunfermline and see what happens.
“the squad has grown in confidence over the last few months and, whatever happens today, we know that the club is heading in the right direction.”
the hosts have won their last three matches and look set to finish in third place, a great achievement for a promoted side.
Elsewhere in the top flight this afternoon Uddingston warm up for next weekend’s Scottish Cup final against Stirling County with a home match against bottom club Greenock.
For the hosts Sri Lankan pro Ras Priyadarshana needs just three runs to follow team-mate Paul Hoffman over the 500-run mark for the season, while the latter needs two scalps for 30 wickets.
Greenock skipper Kevin McLaren will be looking forward to the end of a tough campaign, but will have been pleased with his side’s effort in recent weeks.
Carlton’s players head to Aberdeenshire with thoughts of what might have been in their minds. Four defeats from
is the end of July until 15 August dented their title chances but, on the plus side, they have their Scotland contingent back for the testing Mannofield trip.
Clydesdale take on McCrea FS West with both sides feeling that they have underachieved in 2010. there is an incentive for home professional Kamran Sajid, who needs 61 runs to reach 800 for the league season, while West captain Ian Young’s eternal enthusiasm will keep his secondbottom side going until the end ahead of league reconstruction.
avictory at Forfarshire and a sixth SNCL title win since 2000 would be a great end to an emotional season for grange caption Sanjay Patel