English leads SMRH to title glory
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
CEDRIC English, the former Saltires and Carlton all-rounder, has taken just one season to lead SMRH to the Eastern First Division title, a triumph that was confirmed amid further downpours on Saturday.
English, a Carlton man for more than a decade, took the tough decision last winter to leave Grange Loan in search of new challenges.
He found them across the capital at Inverleith where a club with similar ambitions to his own welcomed him as player-coach.
It has proved to be a happy union as SMRH have enjoyed a 100% record en route to joining the elite of the Eastern Premier where next season English will come up against his former Carlton team-mates.
True, the effects of the wettest summer in living memory mean that the Inverleith club have completed just seven of a scheduled thirteen games to date but few would argue that they are anything other than worthy champions.
Club chairman Robert Barclay declared: “The lads have performed superbly to take us up unbeaten.
“We figure it will only be the third time that the club will have played in the highest division available to us following promotions to the old East League division one in the mid-1980s and again in 1995.
“This time we will aim to stay up for more than one season.”
Almost inevitably SMRH had to beat the weather as well as their opponents in sealing promotion with victory over Falkland at Inverleith in the only first division game to survive on Saturday.
Following a delayed start, the Edinburgh side first dismissed their hosts for 118 in 40.3 overs and, after a further interruption, were ahead of the required D/L rate on 77-3 when rain had the final say after 22 overs of the SMRH reply.
Greg Ruthven and Matt Coyle claimed four wickets apiece in a match dominated by the bowlers though Adam Ferguson battled to fine effect for Falkland in scoring 39.
It was entirely fitting, though, that English guided the SMRH chase with an unbeaten 34.
“Cedric has been a major factor in our success this season,” added Barclay. “He is a vastly experienced cricketer. He knows how he wants things done and demands high standards.”
With Barclay pointing out that SMRH’s second eleven also won promotion at the weekend – to the third division of the East League – the future would appear to be bright for the Inverleith club.