It’s the second round of league action this weekend. On Sunday the First XI will also get their Scottish Cup campaign underway.
On Saturday the First XI will venture across town to Goldenacre where they will face Heriot’s. The Nails started their EPL season strongly with a win away to Stoneywood Dyce. Dickinson started well on debut, hitting 68 in the first innings and taking 3-12 to guide his side to a comfortable victory. The First XI met the Nails twice last year in the league, each team winning one a piece. In the game at Goldie, the Arrows batted first but struggled to find any sort of consistency with the bat. After lots of starts and not an awful lot more the away side were bundled out for 156. The Arrows managed to take 3 wickets before Heriot’s reached their target, Ali Evans picking up the prize wicket of Scotland teammate Matthew Cross. New signing Lewis O’Donnell will be available for selection for tomorrow’s fixture.
After no play last week the Second XI will look to get their ESCA Championship off to a strong start against Heriot’s 2s at Grange Loan. Last season Heriots finished in 7th place, three places below the 2s. The Arrows won both fixtures against the Nails in the Championship last time out, however both games were tightly contested. In the fixture between the two sides at Grange Loan the 2s were inserted and only Kyle Macpherson (38), Mo Nauman (21) and Shaun Smith (15) were able to make it into double figures. They were eventually bowled out for 160 in the 40th over. The visitors lost 3 wickets early wickets, but a couple of handy partnerships got the Nails back on course. It looked like the visitors were going to coast home, but after Max D’Ulisse removed Scotland international Adrian Neill the match was in the balance. A clatter of wickets followed on from the dismissal of Neill, and the Arrows were able to secure a 6 run victory. The youngsters were the stars of the show as both Ben Stronach and D’Ulisse picked up 4 wickets each.
The 4th XI were only able to complete 8 over against Melrose last Sunday, so tomorrow’s fixture against Leith FAB 2s at Leith Links will be their first in ESCA Division 4 for the season. Last year Leith FAB 2s gained promotion from ESCA Division 5. Leith FAB are a fast growing club, with 3 senior teams competing in the ESCA leagues this year.
To conclude action on Saturday the 5th XI will travel to The Arns and will face Clackmannan County’s 2nd team. Clacks finished in 7th place in last year’s ESCA Division 7, 3 places above the Arrows. The teams faced off two times last year with the Alloa side taking the spoils on both occasions. In last year’s match at The Arns the hosts won the toss and opted to bat first. This proved a strong decision as the hosts piled on the runs and finished on 238/4 off their 40 overs. Loanee Anura Suriyapperuma was the pick of the bowlers taking 2 wickets. Lots of the batters got starts but no one was able to push on and convert a big score, resulting in the 5s falling 86 runs short in the end.
Sunday’s action starts with a first round Scottish Cup fixture against Edinburgh CC at Campbell Park. The First XI compete in the division above Edinburgh, however the side from Bonaly were meant to meet the 2s last weekend had it not been for the wet conditions. Last year Edinburgh got to the quarter finals of the Cricket Scotland Challenge Cup before being knocked out by Dunnikier. The Arrows will not be at full strength on Sunday as seamers Ruaridh McIntyre and Lewis O’Donnell are unavailable for selection as well as all-rounder Umair Mohammed.
Also on Sunday the Women’s First XI will take on Stewart’s Melville at Inverleith in another friendly fixture for the side. In the 2022 WPL the North Edinburgh side finished in 3rd place, 2 spots below the Arrows. In last year’s fixture at Grange Loan the Arrows produced one of their best performances of the season when they defeated Stewart’s Melville by 10 wickets. The Arrows dismissed the visitors for 99 with Maceira picking up 3 wickets and 2 each for Haggo and Fontenla. Charis Scott (50*) and Janie Hemsley (33*) chased the total down in just 12.3 overs.
In the final fixture of the weekend the 3rd XI will welcome Kelso to Grange Loan on Sunday afternoon. Kelso are new to the league after consecutive relegations from the Championship in 2021 and then Division 1 in 2022. In 2021, Kelso played against the 2nd XI once in the league. In that game the Arrows were asked to bat first by the hosts. The 2s piled on the runs at Shedden Park, Hayden Laing fell 3 short of reaching triple figures, however Gav Murray was able to convert and hit his maiden century for the Second XI. Kelso were set a target of 336 but only managed to reach 88 before all 10 wickets were lost. Charles Stronach claimed 5 scalps with Saif Khan also taking 3 wickets.