SCOTTISH cricket’s domestic showpiece is set for a meeting of minds when Western Premier champions Ferguslie face Grange, winners of the Eastern Premier, in today’s Grand Final at Lochlands, Arbroath.

That is the shared view of Ferguslie skipper Jamey Carruthers and Grange player-coach John Blain, between whom there is obvious mutual appreciation.

The sides were involved in a thrilling Scottish Cup semi-final a month ago, the Edinburgh side prevailing in the final over and another tight encounter is in store today.

Carruthers, though, is confident the Paisley side can gain revenge and said: “We fancy ourselves to get the result if we play to our best.

“We’ve had a brilliant season and are looking for one more good performance to cap it all.

“But we know Grange will be tough opponents. John has done a fantastic job there and created a great environment. He has created the conditions that allows young players to flourish.”

Interestingly Blain’s coaching outlook was influenced by a brief spell spent with Ferguslie a decade ago and it is Grange who are now the beneficiaries.

Blain said: “I was thinking about my philosophy of coaching the other day and my mind was cast back to my time at Ferguslie.

“They have always placed a strong emphasis on their youth section and provided opportunities for youngsters to progress through to the first eleven. I believe that is why they are enjoying the success they’re having now.

“We do the same at Grange and this season alone we’ve given a handful of youngsters their opportunity.

“It’s been a great season so far but, let’s face it, a club like Grange should be winning trophies.

“Ferguslie have a simple method that works well for them and they also have a good hard mentality so we know what to expect.”

Grange are without one of their most promising teenagers Tom Mackintosh whose last-over heroics proved decisive in the cup meeting between the sides.

Mackintosh is on tour with Durham Academy while experienced batting duo Preston Mommsen and Dylan Budge are also unavailable.

Ferguslie are without the injured Gregg Cameron with James Cook deputising.
T
he Paisley side are bidding to become the second Western Premier side to win the Grand Final, Prestwick having last season broken the east’s five-year monopoly of the trophy.