Stoneywood Dyce wicket-keeper Andrew Maclaren reckons they need to put together complete performances to gather some much-needed momentum.
With three wins to their name this season in the Eastern Premiership it has been tough going, with the team encountering many of the same issues felt across the league.
Consistency of selection has been a problem for many teams during Covid times, with Maclaren feeling they have only shown glimpses of what they are capable of.
They now have three home games in succession, ahead of finishing the year with four games on the road.
Maclaren said: “Having a fixed 11 is a great thing week in week out but I think a lot of teams are struggling with that, either people choosing not to play or have other priorities with what’s going on in the world.
“It’s great we can go out and play and I think that’s the main thing at the moment.
“For us it’s about putting the whole package together – an aggregate of marginal gains. It the the fine percentage points that add up and it can be a real challenge, when you’re playing at the top level in Scotland.
“I think we all know how challenging the National League is and the standard of it, but you want to play at that level. We’ve shown glimpses, individually and as a team, of what we can do and it’s about putting those performances.”
Week 10 summary: https://t.co/IK8VApb9ur – a week to forget on the pitch but onwards and upwards to the week ahead!
— Stoneywood Dyce (@StoneywoodDyce) July 26, 2021
Maclaren, in his seventh season with the People’s Park side, feels both he and the club have benefitted from their participation in the T20 Cup.
Stoneywood Dyce reached the semi-finals of the Caledonia region of the competition, narrowly losing out to tomorrow’s league opponents Arbroath, with victories along the way over Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen Grammar and Huntly.
Maclaren was their top-scorer during the tournament, averaging more than 50 with the bat.
He added: “You’re not training for the 50-over format but you’re playing more games and can show you can string it together. I think we showed that, getting to the semi-finals after winning our group.
“I picked up an injury earlier in the season and I struggled with the bat initially. After a couple of low scores I got some runs in the T20s and I feel I’m batting as well as I have at this level.
“I want to compete with the bat and I want to execute my dismissals for the bowlers when they give me opportunities. There’s definitely room to improve but there’s definite signs I can be encouraged with where my game is.”
Arbroath won the previous league encounter at the start of June in Angus, however Maclaren feels they have to make advantage count.
He also takes heart from the continued development of players through the club ranks, with Jamie King, David Kidd and Jack Lambley all earning recognition at national level.
He said: “We have put teams to the sword at home. We have tried to make it a point to make it hard to come to Dyce and win. Teams will have to graft for it.
“I think this season has been a bit more up and down (across the league). Part of that is teams – including ourselves – don’t have an overseas amateur or pro that can sometimes be the glue. It’s good for Scottish cricket that locals are being asked to step up more.
“We’ve got a pedigree because we produce a lot of talent in the north-east and it’s great to be up here testing ourselves.”