David Kidd reckons Stoneywood Dyce have learned harsh lessons from their challenging start to the Eastern Premiership season.
The Aberdeen side have lost their last four games and sit second-bottom, having not won since the opening game of the season.
In mitigation, however, they have been on the road for the last three weekends, including facing two of the title contenders in Edinburgh over the last fortnight.
Stoneywood Dyce are back at People’s Park this weekend at home to Watsonians, in need of a victory to get their season up and running.
Kidd said: “It’s been incredibly challenging, particularly the last few weeks away from home against a couple of the biggest Edinburgh teams.
1s outclassed by @HeriotsCricket by 151 runs as we crumble to 156 all out chasing their 307. Top class 171* from Matthew Cross ultimately took the game well out of our reach!
— Stoneywood Dyce (@StoneywoodDyce) June 19, 2021
“There’s a lot of lessons to learn and sometimes they are hard ones. The first one is taking your chances; when you’re presented with chances, be it catches or runouts, if you don’t take them you can’t expect to compete at the top level.
“The other thing is individual responsibility plays a huge part. Everyone has to look at how they can contribute to a win.
“For a lot of us, it’s not our first season in the National League. Myself, Jamie King, Jan Stander, George Ninan, Andrew MacLaren have played a lot of top-level cricket but we’ve had a few younger guys making their debut at this level. For them it’s been a big learning curve.”
The defeats have been heavy, with the last three by more than 100 runs. The positives to cling to have been thin on the ground.
“I’m always wary of positives in losses, particularly on the scale we have had in recent weeks,” added Kidd.
“Some of the younger guys have shown the potential to become established members of the team. Some players have put their hands up in situations they’re not known for normally.
“Fielding is the most important part as everyone is expected to do it, to compete at the highest level. Fifty overs is a long time in the field if guys aren’t expecting that level from themselves.”
Their cause will be strengthened this weekend by the return of Shaun Coetzer, Lennard Bester and Martin Reid, who all missed the defeat to Heriots last weekend.
Tomorrow’s opponents Watsonians sit fourth, having won three of their first five games.
Kidd added: “We have had a lot of away cricket so to be able to take the team back home at our own ground is something we’re really looking forward to.
“They are another really good Edinburgh team. They’re a team which plays a competitive brand of cricket, which I like.
“We have had mixed success against them – we beat them home and away in 2019 so hopefully we can keep that momentum going.”