Stoneywood Dyce player-coach Jan Stander is hoping they can keep local favourite Gordon Goudie quiet on his return to the Granite City this weekend.
Goudie started off his cricket career in the north-east with Stoneywood Dyce, before moving to Middlesex and going on to represent Scotland at international level.
He has been a regular with Edinburgh side Grange in the Eastern Premiership and they head north still in contention at the top of the division.
Stander, who hit 105 last week against Arbroath in a losing effort, reckons it will a key part of the game to keep Goudie from making an impact.
He said: “We’ve got Gordon coming to his home ground – I haven’t played many games at Dyce where he hasn’t played well and won the game for them, with the bat or the ball.
“He’ll be a force to deal with. He always wants to do well up here. His family always comes up and adds that extra incentive to do well in front of them.
“They’ve got a good team. They’ve got quite a few Scotland players and guys that have played at the top level. But we don’t know what they’re travelling up with so we’ll have to see on the day.”
Goudie took five-for-27 the last time the two sides met in June, when Grange emerged victorious by 247 runs.
Stoneywood Dyce sit third-from-bottom in the division, with three wins from 12 games. Defeat against Arbroath United last weekend came by 10 runs but saw two significant knocks from Stander and Jack Lambley (95no)
However, they gave away 43 extras in Arbroath’s innings of 280 and dropped numerous catches, with even a small reduction in either likely to have had an impact on the outcome of the game.
Stander added: “We’ve batted well the last two games but haven’t bowled so well. We’re a normally a team that bowls well and doesn’t bat so well.
“Catches are critical as well. We put so many chances down last Saturday. That’s what’s hurt us, that and the number of extras. You can’t win games in this league having 40 extras.
“Having 15 would be pretty poor. That would be 25 less and we only lost the game by 10 runs. It’s small margins but as long as guys keep learning, that’s the key.
“You expect to drop one, maybe two, not seven. That’s primary school cricket.
“It comes down to training, catching more balls, but letting things go as well. The same way as winning and losing becomes a habit, confidence in fielding becomes a habit as well.
“People still thinking about the last catch they dropped; there’s nothing you can do about it now. It’s about what’s in front of you. It’s a mindset thing as well as technical bits you need to work on.”
Former Scotland cap Stander was pleased to get himself back in the runs last weekend, but admits he took more pride in the innings Lambley put together.
He added: “Last season I didn’t play any cricket but I got one in the T20s against Arbroath, so I obviously like scoring runs against them.
“I’m more pleased in the runs Jack scored than the ones I did. That’s the future and it’s the maturity of the knock as well. He would have learned a lot from that, learning how to build an innings.
“We batted quite some together and I think you realise how much it easier it is when you get your eye in. When you bat for that amount of time, the ball does become like a football. Occupying the crease is the key.”