IT appears that the once mighty Aberdeenshire may be about to fall – unless they can snatch the scalp of born-again Arbroath at Mannofield today.
While Forfarshire remain on course to collect their first ever Premiership crown, their long-time rivals in the Granite City would appear to be hammering on the door of last chance saloon in their quest for top flight survival.
And this afternoon they will come up against the in-form overseas pro, Wihan Lubbe, who has hauled Arbroath out of their own doldrums.
The South African struck a marvellous century to inflict the only defeat of the campaign thus far on Forfarshire – then followed up with another three-figure knock 24 hours later to send Stirling County hurtling out of the Scottish Cup, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Lubbe will fancy his chances of making it three tons on the trot at Mannofield.
His recent successes at the crease seem to mirror how much his is enjoying his first stint in Scotland. Lubbe said: “The people of Arbroath and the club itself have been really good to me since I arrived a couple of months ago.
“I have enjoyed it more than I could have hoped – in fact they have made me feel as if I have been here for years!
“Our performances during the first half of the season were not as strong as they should have been – however things are definitely looking up after our victory over Forfarshire.
“It was a huge result for us and I am sure the experience will provide momentum for the remainder of the summer.”
Aberdeenshire skipper Kenny Reid admitted time is fast running out. He stated: “At the start of every campaign we say that winning our home games are vital.
“Unfortunately, so far this season we have let ourselves down on our own turf, especially against Corstorphine and Carlton, with two home games also being rained off it puts a little bit more pressure on – starting with Arbroath.
“No one at the club is under any illusions regarding the situation we find ourselves in, but remain quietly confident that we can find a match winner in our ranks this weekend.
“Of course Lubbe is a big danger man and we sew that first hand down at Lochlands in May. But it would be foolish to think of them as a one man side as they have other key performers in their side who we need to be wary.
“I believe, though, that if we turn up and produce a performance that we are capable of we can definitely win.”
Forfs, meanwhile, must waste no time in steadying the ship, but they have a tough tussle in prospect against fourth-place Heriot’s at Broughty Ferry.
Grange will be in revenge mode as they cross the capital to face a Carlton outfit that ended their Cup dream.
Going by the current trend, Stoneywood-Dyce – now the undisputed No1 side in the Aberdeen area – should be too strong for Stew-Mel at Peoples Park.
RHC will be aiming to shake off their mid-term jitters by claiming the scalp of inconsistent Watsonians at Barnton.